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DUKE 
UNIVERSITY 




LIBRARY 



n U K E • U N I V R R S I T Y . PUBLICATIONS 



The Frank C. Brown Collection of 

NORTH CAROLINA 

FOLKLORE 




ALL DAY SINGING 



The FRANK C. BROWN COLLECTION of 

NORTH CAROLINA 
FOLKLORE 



Thk Folklore of North Carolina collectki) by Dr. Frank C. Brown 

DURING THE YeARS I912 TO 1 943 IN COLLABORATION WITH ThE NoRTH CARO- 
LINA Folklore Society of which he was Secretary-Treasurer 191 3-1943 

IN FIVE VOLUMES 



General Editor 
NEWMAN IVEY WHITE 

Associate Editors 

HENRY M. BELDEN PAUL G. BREWSTER 

WAYLAND D. HAND ARTHUR PALMER HUDSON 

JAN P. SCHINHAN ARCHER TAYLOR 

STITH THOMPSON BARTLETT JERE WHITING 

GEORGE P. WILSON 

PAIJLL F. BAUM 
Wood Engravings by 

CLARE LEIGHTON 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 

DUKE UNIVERSITY PRESS 



Volume I 

GAMES AND RHYMES • BELIEFS AND CUSTOMS • RIDDLES 
PROVERBS • SPEECH • TALES AND LEGENDS 

Edited by 

Paul G. Brewster, Archer Taylor, Bartlett Jere Whiting, 

George P. Wilson, Stith Thompson 

Volume II 
FOLK BALLADS FROM NORTH CAROLINA 

Edited by 
Henry M. Belden and Arthur Palmer Hudson 

Volume III 
FOLK SONGS FROM NORTH CAROLINA 

Edited by 
Henry M. Belden and Arthur Palmer Hudson 

Volume IV 
THE MUSIC OF THE BALLADS 

Edited by 
Jan Philip Schinhan 

Volume V 
THE MUSIC OF THE FOLK SONGS 

Edited by 
Jan Philip Schinhan 

Volumes VI and VII 
SUPERSTITIONS FROM NORTH CAROLINA 

Edited by 
Wayland D. Hand 



The FRANK C. BROWN COLLECTION of 

NORTH CAROLINA 
FOLKLORE 



VOLUME TWO 



FOLK BALLADS 

FROM 
NORTH CAROLINA 



Edited by 

HENRY M. BELDEN 

and 

ARTHUR PALMER HUDSON 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 

DUKE UNIVERSITY PRESS 



1952 



COPYRIGHT, 1952, BY THE DUKE UNIVERSITY PRESS 

Cambridge University Press, London, N. W. 1, England 

Second Printing, 1959 



The Library of Congress has cataloged this publication as follows: 

Duke University, Durham, N. C. Library. Frank O. Brown 
Collection of North Carolina Folklore. 

The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folk- 
lore; the folklore of North Carolina, collected by Dr. Frank 
C. Brown during the years 1912 to 1943, in collaboration 
with the North Carolina Folklore Society ... General edi- 
tor: Newman Ivey White; associate editors: Henry M. 
Belden (and others, Wood engravings by Clare Leighton. 
Durham, N. C, Duke University Press ,1952- 

V. lllus., port., music. 24 cm. (Duke University pubHcatlona) 

Each vol. has also special t. p. 

Includes bibliographies. 

(Continued on next card) 

62—10967 



Duke University, Durham, N. C. Library. Frank C. Broton 
Collection of North Carolina Folklore. The Frank C. 
Brown Collection... ,1952- (Card 2) 

Contents. — v. 1. Games and rhymes. BelleCs and customs. Rid- 
dles. Proverbs. Speech. Tales and legends. — v. 2. Folk ballads from 
North Carolina. — T. 3. Folk songs from North Carolina. — v. 4. The 
music of the ballads. 



1. Folk-lore — North Carolina. 2. Folk-songs, American — North 
Carolina. i. White, Newman Ivey, 1892-1948, ed. n. Brown, Frank 
ayde. in. North Carolina Folklore Society, rv. TlUe. v. TlUe: 
North Carolina folklore. 



GR110.N8D8 398 

Library of Ongress irSSoS^ 



CONTENTS 

Foreword xv 

Abbreviations Used in the Headnotes xviii 

Introduction 3 

I. THE OLDER BALLADS— MOSTLY BRITISH n 

1. The Elfin Knight I2 

2. Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight 15 

3. Earl Brand 27 

4. The Two Sisters 32 

5. The Cruel Brother 35 

6. Lord Randal 39 

7. Edward 41 

8. Babylon; or, The Bonnie Banks Fordie 44 

9. The Three Ravens 46 

10. Thomas Rymer 46 

11. The Wee, Wee Man 47 

12. Captain Wedderburn's Courtship 48 

13. The Two Brothers 49 

14. Young Beichan 50 

15. The Cherry Tree Carol 61 

16. Sir Patrick Spens 63 

17. Child Waters 65 

18. Young Hunting 67 

19. Lord Thomas and Fair Annet 69 

20. Fair Margaret and Sweet William 79 

21. Lord Lovel 84 

22. The Lass of Rock Royal 88 

23. Sweet William's Ghost 92 

24. The Unquiet Grave 94 

25. The Wife of Usher's Well 95 

26. Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard ioi 

27. Bonny Barbara Allan hi 

28. Lady Alice 131 

29. Lamkin 140 

30. The Maid Freed from the Gallows 143 

31. The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter 149 

32. Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne 151 

33. Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires 152 

34. Sir Hugh; or. The Jew's Daughter 155 

35. Queen Eleanor's Confession 160 

36. The Bonny Earl of Murray 160 



1 contents 

37. The Gypsy Laddie 161 

38. Geordie 168 

39. Katharine Jaffray 169 

40. James Harris (The Daemon Lover) 171 

41. The Suffolk Miracle 180 

42. Our Goodman 181 

43. Get up and Bar the Door 183 

44. The Wife Wrapt in Wether's Skin 185 

45. The Farmer's Curst Wife 188 

46. The Crafty Farmer 188 

47. The Sweet Trinity (The Golden Vanity) 191 

48. The Mermaid 195 

49. Trooper and Maid 198 

50. The Dilly Song 199 

51. The Twelve Blessings of Mary 206 

52. The Twelve Days of Christmas 208 

53. I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In 210 

54. Dives and Lazarus I 210 

55. Dives and Lazarus II 211 

56. The Romish Lady 212 

57. 'Let's Go A-Hunting,' Says Richard to Robert 215 

58. The Ghost's Bride 216 

59. The Dark Knight 218 

60. The Turkish Factor 220 

61. Nancy of Yarmouth 223 

62. The Bramble Brier 229 

63. The Prince of Morocco; or, Johnnie 232 

64. The Gosport Tragedy 234 

65. The Lexington Murder 240 

66. On the Banks of the Ohio 247 

67. Rose Conn ally 248 

68. Handsome Harry 250 

69. Beautiful Susan 251 

70. The Lancaster Maid 253 

71. The Drowsy Sleeper 255 
"jz. The Silver Dagger 258 

73. Come All Young People 259 

74. Chowan River 261 

75. Pretty Betsey 262 

76. Molly Bawn 263 
yy. Fair Fannie Moore 264 

78. Mary of the Wild Moor 265 

79. Young Edwin in the Lowlands Low 266 

80. The Three Butchers 269 

81. The Butcher Boy 271 

82. The Lover's Lament 279 



CONTENTS IX 

83. As I Stepped Out Last Sunday Morning 283 

84. Locks and Bolts 284 

85. New River Shore 286 

86. The Soldier's Wooing 287 

87. Early, Early in the Spring 290 

88. Charming Beauty Bright 293 

89. The Glove 296 

90. A Brave Irish Lady 299 

91. Servant Man 302 

92. A Pretty Fair Maid down in the Garden 304 

93. John Reilley 305 

94. Johnny German 306 

95. The Dark-Eyed Sailor 310 

96. Lovely Susan 311 

97. Polly Oliver 312 

98. MoLLiE and Willie 313 

99. Jack Munro 314 
100. The Girl Volunteer 317 
loi. Charming Nancy 319 

102. A Rich Nobleman's Daughter 320 

103. Little Plowing Boy 322 

104. The Sailor Boy 323 

105. Scarboro Sand (Robin Hood Side) 329 

106. William Taylor 330 

107. The Silk-Merchant's Daughter 331 

108. Green Beds 334 

109. Poor Jack 339 
no. Little Mohea 340 

111. The Faithful Sailor Boy 342 

112. The Sailor's Bride 344 

113. Barney McCoy 346 

114. In a Cottage by the Sea 347 

115. A Song About a Man-of-War 348 

116. Captain Kidd 350 

117. Poor Parker 351 

118. High Barbary 352 

119. The Lorena Bold Crew 353 

120. The Sheffield Apprentice 353 

121. The Rambling Boy 355 

122. My Bonnie Black Bess 356 

123. The Drummer Boy of Waterloo 357 

124. Caroline of Edinburgh Town 358 

125. Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch 360 

126. I Wish My Love Was in a Ditch 361 

127. Shule Aroon 362 

128. William Riley 363 



contents 

129. Johnny Doyle 365 

130. Sweet William and Nancy 366 

131. The Irish Girl 367 

132. Pretty Susie, the Pride of Kildare 368 

133. I WAS Sitting on a Stile 369 

134. I Left Ireland and Mother because We Were Poor 369 

135. Three Leaves of Shamrock 370 

136. Skew Ball 371 

137. When You and I Were Young, Maggie 371 

138. The Happy Stranger 372 

139. Sweet Lily 373 

140. Once I Had a Sweetheart 374 

141. A False-Hearted Lover 375 

142. Mama Sent Me to the Spring 375 

143. Annie Lee 376 

144. Hateful Mary Ann 377 

145. The Girl I Left behind Me 378 

146. The Isle of St. Helena 385 

147. The Babes in the Wood 388 

148. The Orphan Girl 388 

149. The Blind Girl 39^ 

150. Two Little Children 394 

151. The Soldier's Poor Little Boy 396 

152. The Orphan 397 

153. Fond Affection 39^ 

154. You Are False, but I'll Forgive You 408 

155. We Have Met and We Have Parted 410 

156. Broken Ties 41 S 

157. They Were Standing ry the Window 417 

158. The Broken Heart 421 

159. This Night We Part Forever 422 

160. Parting Words 423 

161. Bye and Bye You Will Forget Me 424 

162. The One Forsaken 425 

163. Don't Forget Me, Little Darling 426 

164. She Was Happy till She Met You 427 

165. The Ripest Apple 428 

166. Sweetheart, Farewell 428 

167. My Little Dear, So Fare You Well 429 

168. Dreary Weather 43^ 

169. My Sweetheart's Dying Words 432 

170. The Homesick Boy 433 

171. Over the Hills to the Poor-House 434 

172. You're the Man That Stole My Wife 436 

173. I'm Going to Get Married Next Sunday 436 

174. Katie's Secret 437 



contents xi 

175. The Farmer's Daughter 438 

176. The Derby Ram 439 

177. The Miller and His Three Sons 44° 

178. I Tuck Me Some Corn to the County Seat 444 

179. The Old Dyer 444 

180. Father Grumble 445 

181. Johnny Sands 448 

182. The Old Woman's Blind Husband 450 

183. The Dumb Wife 452 

184. The Holly Twig 454 

185. Nobody Coming to Marry Me 456 

186. Whistle, Daughter, Whistle 457 

187. Hard of Hearing 458 

188. The Three Rogues 458 

189. Bryan O'Lynn 459 

190. Three Jolly Welshmen 460 

191. The Good Old Man 463 

192. The Burglar Man 465 

193. Billy Grimes the Drover 466 

194. Grandma's Advice 467 

195. Common Bill 469 

196. Swapping Songs 47^ 

197. Dog and Gun 474 

198. Kitty Clyde 476 

199. Father. Father, I Am Married 477 

200. If I Had a Scolding Wife 478 

201. The Scolding Wife 478 

202. The Little Black Mustache 479 

203. No Sign of a Marriage 481 

204. Wilkins and His Dinah 482 

205. Thimble Buried His Wife at Night 484 

206. Boys. Keep Away from the Girls 485 

207. The Boys Won't Do to Trust 486 

H. NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 487 

208. Springfield Mountain 489 

209. Young Charlotte 492 

210. The Three Drowned Sisters 495 

211. The Ore Knob 496 

212. Floyd Collins 498 

213. The Jam at Gerry's Rock 501 

214. Lost on the Lady Elgin 506 

215. The Ship That Never Returned 507 

216. Casey Jones 510 

217. The Wreck of the Old Ninety-Seven 512 

218. Wreck of the Royal Palm 521 

219. Wreck of the Shenandoah 522 



;u contents 

220. Paul Jones 523 

221. James Bird 525 

222. In Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-One 528 

223. On the Plains of Manassas 529 

224. Old Johnston Thought It Rather Hard 530 

225. The Cumberland 530 

226. The Merrimac 533 

227. The Dying Fifer 533 

228. The Dying Soldier to His Mother 534 

229. The Battle of Shiloh Hill 535 

230. The Drummer Boy of Shiloh 536 

231. The Last Fierce Charge 539 

232. Kingdom Coming 541 

233. Ol' Gen'ral Bragg's a-Mowin' Down de Yankees 543 

234. The Texas Ranger 544 

235. The Battleship Maine (I) 546 

236. The Battleship Maine (II) 547 

237. Marching to Cuba 548 

238. Manila Bay 549 

239. That Bloody War 550 

240. Strange Things Wuz Happening 553 

241. Just Remember Pearl Harbor 553 

242. The Boston Burglar 554 

243. Jesse James 557 

244. John Hardy 563 

245. Kenny Wagner's Surrender 566 

246. Claud Allen 567 

247. Frank Dupree 570 

248. Brady 571 

249. Charles Guiteau 572 

250. Florella (The Jealous Lover) 578 

251. Frankie and Albert 589 

252. Sadie 597 

253. Little Mary Phagan 598 

254. Marian Parker 603 

255. The Murder of Marian Parker 604 

256. Little Marion Parker 604 

257. Edward Hickman 606 

258. Joe Bowers 607 

259. Sweet Jane 608 

260. Jack Haggerty 610 

261. The Ocean Burial 611 

262. The Lone Prairie 613 

263. The Unfortunate Rake 614 

264. When the Work Is Done This Fall 618 

265. A Jolly Group of Cowboys 619 



CONTENTS XIll 

266. Great Granddad 621 

267. The Lily ok the West 622 

268. Bill Miller's Trip to the West 622 

269. Cheyenne ^^^ 

270. John Henry 623 

271. Aunt Jemima's Plaster 628 

272. The Fatal Wedding 629 

273. Little Rosewood Casket 631 

274. Jack and Joe 635 

275. They Say It is Sinful to Flirt 638 

276. The Little White Rose 640 

in. NORTH CAROLINA BALLADS 641 

277-280. Regulator Songs 645 

277. When Fanning First to Orange Came 648 

278. From Hillsborough Town the First of May 649 

279. Says Frohock to Fanning 652 

280. Who Would Have Tho't Harmon 653 

281. The Rebel Acts of Hyde 655 

282. As I Went Down to Newbern 658 

283. Old Billy Dugger 658 

284. The Brushy Mountains Freshet 658 

285. Man Killed by Falling from a Horse 659 

286. The Florence C. McGee 660 

287. The Titanic ^^ 

288. The Wreck of the Huron 668 

289. The Song of Dailey's Life-Boat 671 

290. The Hamlet Wreck 674 

291. Edward Lewis 676 

292. Manley Pan key ^77 
293,294. William S. Shackleford (alias J. P. Davis) 677 

293. Last Words of William Shackleford, Executed 

in Pittsboro, Chatham Co., March 28, 1890 680 

294. William Shackleford's Farewell Song As Sung 

by Shackleford 682 

295. Death of Birch ie Potter 683 

296. Emma Hartsell 684 

297. Gladys Kincaid ^^7 

298. The Lawson Murder 688 

299. Lillian Brown 689 

300. Poor Naomi (Omie Wise) 690 

301. Frankie Silver 699 
302-304. Tom Dula and Laura Foster "03 

302. The Murder of Laura Foster 7^7 

303. Tom Dula 7^^ 

304. Tom Dula's Lament 7^3 
305, 306, Ellen Smith and Peter De Graff 7H 



Xiv CONTENTS 

305. Ellen Smith 714 

306. Poor Little Ellen; or, Ellen Smith 716 

307. Nellie Cropsey 717 

308. LiLLiE Shaw 721 

309. The Prohibition Boys 722 

310. Prohibition Whiskey 724 

311. Shu Lady 7^5 

312. 'Tis Now, Young Man. Give Me Attention 728 

313. Blockader's Trail 7^9 

314. Blockader Mamma 735 

Index of Titles and Variant Titles 737 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

All Day Singing frontispiece 

Centenarian facing page 142 

Spring House " " 310 

Wind and Pine " " 432 

Hatteras Wreck " " 660 



FOREWORD 



TT WAS at first supposed that the contents of the present vol- 
"*-umes II and III — the ballads and songs collected in North 
Carolina — would occupy only one volume. Professor Belden and 
Professor Hudson, who were to edit the materials together, 
then agreed on a division of labor whereby the former was to 
be responsible for the ballads which were 'British,' i.e., not 
clearly American (now Nos. 1-207 of volume II) and a con- 
siderable group of songs (now Nos. 1-327 of volume III) ; 
and the latter. Professor Hudson, was to be responsible for the 
American ballads, including those particularly concerning North 
Carolina (now Nos. 208-314 of volume II) and the remaining 
songs (now Nos. 328-658 of volume III). This division was 
followed consistently, but there has been constant co-operation 
during their work of editing. The genera] introduction was 
written by Professor Hudson ; the special introductions were 
written each by the editor of the pieces that accompany them. 
These volumes contain probably the most important part of 
Dr. Brown's Collection and certainly the part which he most 
highly cherished. There would be two reasons for this : one, 
the excitement of lengthening the local list of popular ballads, 
as the arch-priest of the discipline. Professor Child, thought of 
them, the 'traditional' ballads brought to this country by early 
settlers — in a word, the pleasure of the chase. The other would 
be the interesting possibilities of directly observing a process 
of generation and growth here and now, which for the famous 
traditional ballads is known largely by inference. It might be 
possible to observe some of the phenomena of ballad history, 
owing to a survival or recurrence of many of the circumstances 
in which the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century ballads came 
into existence. It would be interesting to see what the ballad 
makers of North Carolina have done with that form which they 
received, or brought, from the English and Scottish archetypes. 



XVI FOREWORD 

what characteristics of the older ballad technique they preserved 
(incremental repetition, refrain, leap-and-linger narration, etc.), 
what new combinations of local tradition and native folklore 
they have developed. 

'Folk' ballads and 'folk' songs are of course not important 
because they come nearer than any other division of the sub- 
ject to primary or essential folklore, or because they reveal more 
intimately the ways of the folk mind, but because they exhibit 
an unlikely combination, a combination known elsewhere less 
abundantly, of the elementary or primitive processes of creation 
and that mysterious thing called art. Thus in these ballads and 
these songs, as we have them here, extremes meet, sometimes 
to the disadvantage of the 'popular' form, as its crudity be- 
comes all too apparent, sometimes however to its advantage, 
as the artificiality of sophistication may become all too apparent. 
But the real point of this is that the folk ballad and the folk 
song differ from other kinds of folklore in sharing to a greater 
degree, if not exclusively, the character of artistic creation. 
Something of the same is true of certain forms of music, draw- 
ing, and sculpture, but in these the evidence is more limited 
and less easy to study. 

The paradox has still another side. 'Popular' means both 
originating with the unlettered folk and also acquired or adopted 
by them. It means both what belongs to them and what is 
suited to their taste and finds favor with them. Since, there- 
fore, the folk, both in their creative and their adoptive spirit, 
form a continuum, and today's novelty and a centuries-old mem- 
ory may so blend that it is difficult to distinguish them, it comes 
about that the folk ballad and folk song are at the same time 
both 'old' and 'modern.' It is chiefly when a professional enter- 
tainer or deliberate fabricator of popular song — popular now as 
we speak of popular novelists — produces something which ob- 
tains wide currency among those who in less than a generation's 
time become 'old people' and continues to flourish apart from 
printed texts, that the line is blurred and one hardly knows 
which sense of the word popular is dominant. Some of the 
genuine 'old' ballads must have been produced in a then tradi- 
tionary style by then popular entertainers. When the same goes 
on today, is the product less 'popular,' farther from the 'folk'? 
How the terms slip under one's own eyes is well illustrated by 
the remark made a short while ago by the vice-president of a 
radio station : "The fact is that and are writing 



FOREWORD XV 

modern folk music." (Those who care to pursue this question 
further mav well read the t^rst and last chapters of Ballad Books 
and Ballad Men by Sigurd B. Hustvedt [Cambridge. 1930 , 
where the definitions and distinctions are learnedly but clearly 
set forth, with something also of the history of coUectmg in 

America.) , , , . ^ 

This continuity will strike every reader and perhaps raise a 
critical question as to the editorial principles of inclusion in 
the present volumes. One answer has just been suggested. The 
other is more practical. Dr. Brown and his collaborators were 
still in the earlv stages of collecting; sifting was to follow. 
The General Editor, no doubt out of deference to Dr. Brown s 
methods, passed all the material on. as he has explained, to the 
Associate Editors, with responsibility to treat it as their judg- 
ment should dictate; and the Associate Editors, probably also 
out of deference to their predecessors, have sometimes applied 
the principle of exclusion with reluctance. And the present 
writer, last in succession, has in turn deferred to precedent as 
having neither authority nor competence to decide against his 
betters. The reader may therefore be grateful with the Psalmist 
and also remember the words of another Teacher: 'Give, and 
it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and 
shaken together, and running over." 

The table of contents lists the ballads (and for volume III 
the songs) under the titles assigned them by the editors. A 
full index, including the variant titles given them by the con- 
tributors, will be found at the end of each volume. At the end 
of volume III will be found also a list of the contributors repre- 
sented in both II and III. together with those whose contribu- 
tions have not been used by the editors. 

On some counts the tunes which Dr. Brown gathered with 
many of these ballads and songs might well have ^e^n included 
at once with the texts; but considerations of time and difficulties 
of printing led to the General Editor's decision to publish them 
separately in our forthcoming volume lY. with an Introduction 
by Professor Schinhan. Meanwhile, those ballads and songs or 
which tunes have been collected and transcribed are indicated 
by an asterisk in the indexes to volumes II and 111. 
For Additions and Corrections, see p. xxiv. 

p. F. B. 



ABBREVIATIONS 

USED IN THE HEADNOTES 



ABFS 
ABS 

AMS 

ANFS 

APPS 

AS 
ASb 

Barry 

BBM 

BFSSNE 

BKH 

BMFSB 

Botkin 
BSI 

BSM 

BSO 
BSSB 



American Ballads and Folk Songs. By John Avery 
Lomax and Alan Lomax. New York, 1934. 

American Ballads and Songs. By Louise Pound. 
New York, [1922]. 

American Mountain Songs. By Ethel Park Richard- 
son and Sigmund Spaeth. New York, [1927]. 

American Negro Folk-Songs. By Newman I. White. 
Cambridge [Mass.], 1928. 

The American Play-Party Song. By Benjamin A. 
Botkin. Lincoln, Nebraska, 1937. 

American Speech. Baltimore, 1926 — . 

The American Songbag. By Carl Sandburg. New 
York, [1927]. 

Folk Songs of the North Atlantic States. By Phil- 
lips Barry. Boston, 1908. Mimeographed. 

British Ballads from Maine. By Phillips Barry, 
Fannie H. Eckstorm, and Mary W. Smyth. New 
Haven, 1929. 

Bulletin of the Folk-Song Society of the Northeast. 
Cambridge [Mass.], 1930-37. 

Ballads of the Kentucky Highlands. By Henry Har- 
vey Fuson. London, 193 1. 

Tzventy-Nine Beech Mountain Folk Songs and Bal- 
lads. By Mellinger Henry and Maurice Matteson. 
New York, 1936. 

See APPS. 

Ballads and Songs of Indiana. By Paul G. Brewster. 
Bloomington, Indiana, 1940. 

Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk- 
Lore Society. By H. M. Belden. Columbia, Mis- 
souri, 1940. 

Ballads and Songs from Ohio. By Mary O. Eddy. 
New York, [1939]. 

Ballads and Songs of the Shanty-Boy. By Franz 
Rickaby. Cambridge [Mass.], 1926. 



ABBREVIATIONS 



BSSM Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan. By Eme- 

lyn E. Gardner and Geraldine J. Chickering. Ann 
Arbor, 1939. 

BSSN Ballads and Sea Songs from Newfoundland. By 

Elizabeth Greenleaf [and] Grace Y. Mansfield. 
Cambridge [Mass.], 1933. 

BSSNS Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia. By W. 

Roy MacKenzie. Cambridge [Mass.], 1928. 

BTFLS Bulletin of the Tennessee Folklore Society. Mary- 

ville, Tenn., 1935 — . 

CFLQ California Folklore Quarterly. 1942 — . 

Christie Traditional Ballad Airs. By W. Christie. Edin- 

burgh, 1876- 1881. 2 vols. 

CS Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. By J. A. 

Lomax and Alan Lomax. New York, 1938. (In 
a few cases the earlier edition, 1910, is cited.) 

CSV Country Songs of Vermont. By Helen H. Flanders 

[and] Helen Norfleet. New York, [1937]. 

DD D evil's Ditties. By Jean Thomas. Chicago, 193 1. 

Dean Flying Cloud and One Hundred and Fifty Other Old 

Time Songs and Ballads. By M. C. Dean. Vir- 
ginia, Minn., n.d. 

DESO Down-East Spirituals, and Others. By George 

Pullen Jackson. New York, [1943]. 

ECS English County Songs. By Lucy Broadwood and 

J. A. F. Maitland. London, 1893. 

ETSC English Traditional Songs and Carols. By Lucy 

Broadwood. London, 1908. 

ETWVMB East Tennessee and Western Virginia Mountain 
Ballads. By Celeste P. Cambiaire. London, 1935. 

FB Frontier Ballads. By Charles J. Finger. New York, 

1927. 

Ford Traditioyial Music of America. By Ira W. Ford. 

New York, 1940. 

FSA Folk-songs of America. By Robert W. Gordon. 

National Service Bureau, 1938. 

FSE Folk-Songs of England. Ed. Cecil J. Sharp. Books 

I, II, III, IV, V, various editors. London, 1908-12. 

FSF Folksongs of Florida. By Alton C. Morris. Gaines- 

ville, 1950. 

FSKH Folk-Songs from the Kentucky Highlands. By 

Josiah H. Combs. New York, 1939. 



XX ABBREVIATIONS 

FSKM Folk-Songs of the Kentucky Mountains. By Jose- 

phine McGill. New York, [1917]. 

FSM Folksongs of Mississippi and Their Background. By 

Arthur Palmer Hudson. Chapel Hill, N. C, 1936. 

FSMEU Folk-Songs du Midi des £tats-Unis. By Josiah H. 

Combs. Paris, 1925. 

FSniWV Folk-Songs Mainly from West Virginia. By John 

H. Cox. National Service Bureau of the Federal 
Theatre Project. W.P.A. New York. 1939. 

FSN Folk Songs from Ne^vfoundland. By Maud Kar- 

peles. [London], 1934. 

FSONE Folk Songs of Old Nexv England. By Eloise Hub- 

bard Linscott. New York, 1939. 

FSRA Folk-Songs of Roanoke and the Albemarle. By 

Louis W. Chappell. Morgantown, W. Va.. 1939. 

FSS Folk-Songs of the South. By John Harrington Cox. 

Cambridge [Mass.], 1925. 

FSSC Franklin Square Song Collection. Selected by J. P. 

McCaskey. New York, 1881-1891. 8 vols. 

FSSH Folk-Songs from the Southern Highlands. By Mel- 

linger E. Henry. New York, [1938]. 

FSSom Folk-Songs from Somerset. By Cecil J. Sharp and 

C. L. Marson. London, 1904-1909. 

FSUT Folk Songs of the Upper Thames. By Alfred Wil- 

liams. London, [1923]. 

FSV Folk-Songs of Virginia. A Descriptive Index. . . . 

By Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. Durham, N. C, 1949. 

FTM Folk Tunes from Mississippi. By Arthur Palmer 

Hudson and George Herzog. National Play Bureau 
Publication No. 25. July 1937. 

GGMS A Garland of Green Mountain Song. By Helen 

Hartness Flanders. Boston, 1934. 

Gomnie The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and 

Ireland. By Alice Bertha Gomme. London, 1894- 
1898. 

GSAC Games and Songs of American Children. By Wil- 

liam Wells Newell. New York, 1883 ; new and 
enlarged ed., 1903, 191 1. 

Halliwell The Nursey Rhymes of England. By James Or- 

chard Halliwell. London, 1842. 

HFLB Hoosier Folklore Bulletin. Bloomington, Ind., 1942- 

45. Thereafter: Hoosier Folklore. — HFL. 

JAFL Journal of American Folklore. 1888 — . 



ABBREVIATIONS XXt 

JEFDSS The Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song 

Society. London, 1931 — . Successor to JFSS. 

JFSS The Journal of the Folk-Song Society. London, 

1899-1931. 

JISHS Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. 

Springfield, 1908 — . 

LL Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads and Ballad Airs. 

By Gavin Greig and Alexander Keith. [Aber- 
deen], 1925. 

LT Lonesome Tunes. Folk Songs from the Kentucky 

Mountains. By Loraine Wyman and Howard 
Brockway. New York, [1916]. 

MAFLS Memoirs of the American Folklore Society. No. 

xxix is 'Folk-Lore from Iowa,' by Earl J. Stout, 
1936. 

Mason Nursery Rhymes and Country Songs. By M. H. 

Mason. London, 1877. 

McLendon A Finding List of Play-Party Games. By Altha 
Lea McLendon, SFLQ viii (1944), 201-34. 

MLN Modern Language Notes. Baltimore, 1886 — . 

MM Minstrelsy of Maine. By Fannie H. Eckstorm and 

Mary W. Smyth. Boston, 1937. 

MMP Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania. By Henry W. 

Shoemaker. Philadelphia, 193 1. A revision of 
NPM. 

MSHF More Songs of the Hill Folk. By John J. Niles. 

New York, [1936]. 

MSNC Mountain Songs of North Carolina. By Marshall 

Bartholomew and Susannah Wetmore. New York, 
1926. 

MWS Maine Woods Songster. By Phillips Barry. Cam- 

bridge [Mass.], 1939. 

Newell See GSAC. 

NGMS The Neiv Green Mountain Songster. By Helen 

Hartness Flanders, Elizabeth Flanders Ballard, 
George Brown, and Phillips Barry. New Haven, 
1939- 

Northall English Folk-Rhymes. By G. E. Northall. London, 

1892. 

NPM North Pennsylvania Minstrelsy. By Henry W. Shoe- 

maker. 2nd ed., Altoona, Pa., 1923. 

NS The Negro and His Songs. By Howard W. Odum 

and Guy B. Johnson. Chapel Hill, N. C, 1925. 



XXll ABBREVIATIONS 

NWS Negro Workaday Songs. By Howard W. Odum and 

Guy B. Johnson. Chapel Hill, N. C, 1926. 

NYFLQ New York Folklore Quarterly. 1945 — . 

OASPS The Ozarks: An American Survival of Primitive 

Society. By Vance Randolph. New York, 1931. 

OFS Ozark Folksongs. Collected and edited by Vance 

Randolph. Columbia, Mo., 1946, 1948, 1949, 1950.. 
4 vols. 

OIFMS Old Irish Folk Music and Songs. By Patrick W. 

Joyce. London, 1909. 3 parts. 

OMF Ozark Mountain Folk. By Vance Randolph. New 

York, 1932. 

looEFS One Hundred English Folk Songs. By Cecil J. 

Sharp. New York and Boston, [1916]. 

Ord The Bothy Songs and Ballads of Aberdeen, Banff 

and Moray, Angus and the Mcarns. By John 
Ord. Paisley, [1930]. 

OSC Our Singing Country. By John A. Lomax, Alan 

Loniax, and Ruth Crawford Seeger. New York, 
1941. 

OSSG Old Songs and Singing Games. By Richard Chase. 

Chapel Hill, N. C, 1938. 

Owens Szving and Turn : Texas Play-Party Songs. By Wil- 

liam A. Owens. Dallas, 1936. 

Ozark Life Ozark Life (Outdoors). Kingston, Ark., 1925-31. 

PTFLS Publications of the Texas Folk-Lore Society. Aus- 

tin, 1916 — . 

PMLA Publications of the Modern Language Association. 

1884—. 

Pound Folk-Song of Nebraska and the Central West. A 

Syllabus. By Louise Pound. University of Ne- 
braska, 19 1 5. Nebraska Academy of Sciences Pub- 
lications, vol. IX, no. 3. 

Rimbault Nursery Rhymes, with Tunes. ... By Edward F, 

Rimbault. London, n.d. 

SBML Songs and Ballads of the Maine Lumberjacks. By 

Roland Palmer Gray. Cambridge [Mass.], 1924. 

SBNS Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia. By Helen 

Creighton. Toronto, [1932]. 

SCB South Carolina Ballads. By Reed Smith. Cambridge 

[Mass.], 1928. 

SCSM A Song Catcher in Southern Mountains. By Dor- 

othy Scarborough. New York, 1937. 



ABBREVIATIONS 



SFLQ Southern Folklore Quarterly. Gainesville, Fla., 

1937—- 
SFSEA Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America. By George 

Pullen Jackson. New York, [1937]. 
SharpK English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians. 

By Cecil J. Sharp and Maud Karpeles. London, 

1932. 2 vols. 
Shearin A Syllabus of Kentucky Folk-Songs. By Herbert 

G. Shearin and Josiah Combs. Lexington, Ky., 

191 1. Transylvania Studies in English IL 
SHE Songs of the Hill-Folk. By John J. Niles. New 

York, [1934]. 
SMLJ Songs of the Michigan Lumberjacks. By Earl C. 

Beck. Ann Arbor, 1941. 
SS Slave Songs of the United States. By William F. 

Allen. New York, 1867 (reprinted 1929). 
SSSA Songs Sung in the Southern Appalachians. By 

Mellinger E. Henry. London, [1934]. 
Steely "The Folk-Songs of the Ebenezer Community." By 

Mercedes S. Steely. Unpublished M.A. thesis, 

University of North Carolina, 1936. 
Talley Negro Folk Rhymes. By Thomas W. Talley. New 

York, 1922. 
TBmWV Traditional Ballads mainly from West Virginia. By 

John Harrington Co.x. National Service Bureau, 

1939- 
TBV Traditional Ballads of Virginia. By Arthur Kyle 

Davis. Cambridge [Mass.], 1929. 
TKMS Twenty Kentucky Mountain Songs. By Loraine 

Wyman and Howard Brockway. Boston, [1920]. 
TNFS On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs. By Dorothy 

Scarborough. Cambridge [Mass.], 1925. 
TSSI Tales and Songs of Southern Illinois. By Charles 

Neely. Menasha, Wis., 1938. 
VFSB Vermont Folk-Songs and Ballads. By Helen H. 

Flanders and George Brown. Brattleboro, Vt., 

1932. 2nd ed. 
WNS White and Negro Spirituah. By George Pullen 

Jackson. New York, [1944]. 
Wolford The Play-Party in Indiana. By Leah J. Wolford. 

Indianapolis, 1916. 
WSSU White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands. By 

George Pullen Jackson. Chapel Hill, N. C, 1933. 



ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS 

Folksongs of Alabama, collected by Byron Arnold, University, Ala- 
bama, 1950, contains texts and music of our Nos. 2, 3, 18, 19, 21, 
22, 25, 27, 30, 34, 44. 

The British Traditional Ballad in America, by Tristram P. Coffin, 
Philadelphia (American Folklore Society), 1950, also contains 
discussions of our Nos. i fif. 

p. 300, 1.7 : add Arkansas before Georgia. 

p. 212, 1. 10 from bottom: add Missouri (OFS iv 32-4) before Ohio. 

p. 426, 1.16: add Randolph reports four texts from the Ozarks 

(OFS IV 207-9). 
p. 4JI, 1.5 from bottom: read Randolph, who reports four texts from 

Missouri (OFS iv 234-6), points out the resemblance of various 

phrases in it to parts of other songs. Elsew^here I have not found 

it. The last. . . . 
p. 476, 1.5: for further . . . traced read Randolph found traces of it 

in the Ozarks (OFS iv 157-8). 



Versions of the following titles are published herein by special 
arrangement with the copyright owners: 

'Casey Jones' (Newton-Seibert) (Vol. II. pp. 510-512) 

Copyriglit 1909 by Newton & Seibert. Copyriglit renewed. Shapiro, 
Bernstein & Co.. Inc. copyright owners. 

'The Death of Floyd Collins' (Jenkins-Spain) (Vol. II, pp. 498-501) 

Copyright 1925 by P. C. Brockman. Copyright renewed. Shapiro, 
Bernstein & Co., Inc. copyright owners. 

'The Prisoner's Song' (Guy Massey) (Vol. Ill, pp. 411-416) 

Copyright 1924 by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc. Copyright renewed. 

'The Wreck of the Old 97' ( Whittier-Noell-Lewey) (Vol. II, pp. 512- 
521) 

Copyright 1924 by F. Wallace Rega. Copyright renewed. Copyright 
1939 by R. C. A. Manufacturing Co. Copyright assigned to Shapiro. 
Bernstein & Co., Inc. copyright owners. 

'The Wreck of the Old Shenandoah' (Maggie Andrews) (Vol. II, 
pp. 522-52.3) 

Copyright 1925 by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc. Copyright renewed. 



FOLK BALLADS 

FROM 

NORTH CAROLINA 



INTRODUCTION 



A READER of popular ballads and folk songs is hopefully in- 
vited to make a difficult imaginative adjustment — a more diffi- 
cult one than the reading of an acting drama requires. From the 
immediate emotional impact of the actual singing of the song to 
the impression obtained from reading the text of it on a printed 
page is a transition as sharp as that of passing from the splendid 
motion-picture production of Henry V, say, with Laurence Olivier 
in the title role, a massive and brilliant supporting cast, and all 
the illusion of staging, costume, lighting, and music, to that of 
reading an edition of the text by even a J. Q. Adams or a G. L. 
Kittredge. Or, to summon another comparison, the act of imagina- 
tion invoked is like that of looking at butterflies impaled in ordered 
rows in the showcases of a museum and trying to see them as they 
flutter in the breeze and sunlight over flowered fields, flit from 
bloom to bloom, hedge-hop in jocund companies, or perform their 
aerial evolutions against a blue sky. Surely, facing their possible 
readers, all editors of ballads and folk songs feel the sharp threat 
of the implied curse pronounced upon their race by Sir Walter's 
auld ballad wife — not merely that "they'll ne'er be sung mair," but 
that they may never be read. 

Yet, like the book of the play, in their humble way these songs 
have a life of their own, and they continue to ofTer suggestions of a 
larger human life which fancy can re-create. And, unlike the 
lepidoptera exhibit in the museum, they are not actually dead things. 
Many are still sung, outside the dry white pages that seem to im- 
prison copies of them, on the live breath of a singer, in the lamp- 
light or sunlight, with the accompanying smiles or the misty eyes 
of an audience. Some almost sing themselves, without benefit of 
printed tunes — if not like one of Burns's songs, at least like a 
remembered snatch echoed from childhood, or the lilt of a mountain 
fiddle, or the strong rhythm of a banjo, or a lonely "holler" from 
a Blue Ridge cove, or the haunting minor melody of an old 
spiritual. With some slight aid from the editors, perhaps, their 
settings and their atmosphere can be restored from the reader's 
memory of old and familiar things, directly experienced or made 
real by the cunning of fiction writers who knew and loved this 
region — Olive Tilford Dargan, Thomas Wolfe, James Boyd, Du- 
Bose Heyward, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, for examples — all of 



4 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

whom, by the way, used folk songs to help bring about "that 
willing suspension of disbelief for the moment which constitutes 
poetic faith" in their own characters, settings, and actions. 

With, here and there, a little editorial assistance, but chiefly by 
their own imaginative sympathy, through these songs readers may 
now and then come into a part of their cultural inheritance as men 
and women of Old World descent, of good American lineage, and, 
in many instances, of North Carolina breeding. They may reflect 
upon the curious phenomenon of hearing songs about Robin Hood 
and Lord Thomas and Fair Annet and Little Hugh (of Lincoln, 
perhaps) sung in a North Carolina cabin. But chiefly they will 
enjoy those spirited old ballads as good song-stories. When they 
read the sprightly songs of the Regulators, they may be brought to 
a vivid consciousness of the ghosts of colonial history lurking be- 
hind the filling stations and the churches, or imprisoned under the 
concrete pavement of old towns like Hillsboro. Reading the Civil 
War pieces, they may compare the feel of the Second World W^ar 
years with the emotions of men and women who sang 'When This 
Cruel War Is Over' or of Shiloh's dark and bloody ground. A 
few, perhaps, crossing Deep River, may recall the pathos of 'Little 
Omie Wise,' first felt in Randolph county over a hundred years 
ago and shared by thousands of folk singers all the way from 
there to the Far West. Many may simultaneously smile and 
shudder over the coarse brutality of 'The Gosport Tragedy,' at 
approximately full length in its near-British form, or compressed 
into fifteen lines of the essence of Dreiser's An American Tragedy. 
They may share the singers' haunting horror of Tom Dula's mur- 
der of Laura Foster. If they can take their murder straight, they 
may be interested in Frankie Silver's confession and speculate on 
whether she actually composed it in her cell and sang or recited 
it from the gallows. They may go with Mrs. Sutton to a mountain 
foot-washing and test their own reactions to the spell of the old 
spirituals sung as men and women used to sing them. Or they may 
smile, with affectionate remembrance, at old jingles about the goose 
that drinks wine and smokes cigars, the 'possum that shakes the 
'simmons down, and the antics of Old Dan Tucker. These and a 
thousand other scenes and actions and fleeting emotions accompany 
a thoughtful and sympathetic reading of the following folk songs. 
Mrs. Sutton's long note on 'Kitty Wells' illuminates a background 
of one group of songs which doubtless lies behind many another : 

"This song, widely known and sung in North Carolina, is cred- 
ited to Thomas Sloan, Jr., and was first published in broadside 
form in New York in the sixties. This version, which is, I think, 
practically correct, I learned from my great-aunt, Mrs. Harvey 
West. Aunt Susie died when I was a little girl, but she sang this 
song a great deal, and I learned it from her. Since I have been 
interested in collecting songs, I have heard it in a great many 



INTRODUCTION 5 

places. I am not sure that it is an authentic folk-song, for it was 
certainly distributed first by means of printed copies. But, it has 
been made the property of the folk and is handed down by word 
of mouth from mother to daughter in all sections of the United 
States. [Good definition of a folk song. — F. C. B.] 

"1 heard 'Big Tom' Wilson's granddaughter sing it up at the 
foot of Mt. Mitchell on the Yancey county side, one autumn after- 
noon. The Wilson home, right at the entrance to the road up Mt. 
Mitchell, is a big white house tucked in under the first ridge of 
the giant peak. A stream of icy water runs beside the house and 
empties into the Cane River right where the lovely valley begins. 
Mrs. Wilson is a young woman with a sweet, plaintive voice. She 
plays folksongs on a guitar and sings them better than any hill- 
billy singer I have heard. 

"My friend Charles Pegram, of the Lenoir Nezvs-Topic, says 
that most of my songs can be heard from the Caldwell county jail 
any time. That the inhabitants of the cells in our particular bastile 
often sing lonesome tunes and ballads. That is likely true; I have 
collected a great many during court weeks in Lenoir. An old 
banjo picker who used to come down from the mountains every 
court and sit around and sing, specialized on 'Kitty Wells.' He 
sang a number of genuine mountain ballads, as 'Pearlie Bryan' and 
'Frankie Silvers.' I don't know his name, but I remember him 
sitting on the courthouse lawn with his banjo and singing the songs 
that this audience asked him to sing. It was his boast that he knew 
every one they asked for. 

"Up in Avery there is a ballad singer named Huskins. He 
spends a good deal of his time in Raleigh or Atlanta, due to the 
fact that he frequently operates a still 'up the branch sommers.' I 
came by his home one day and went in out of the rain. He and 
his wife sang ballads for me all the afternoon. They knew and 
sang a number of the best of the traditional ballads, but their taste 
ran to the outlaw ballads and home-made songs. It was he who 
gave the idea that the Frankie and Johnny cycle was based on 
the Silvers murder. He is the happiest, brightest person imaginable 
and it is hard to understand how he happens to fancy the mourn- 
fulest, most tragic songs that he can learn. He had a home-made 
banjo, very old, that he liked. 

"Mountain homes a few years ago often had home-made musical 
instruments. The dulcimer, about which a great deal has been 
written and which is often found in Kentucky mountain homes, is 
not so well known in this state. I had a man to offer to make me 
a dulcimer when he heard I wanted to find one. Then, in the loft 
of a crib or barn at my great-grandfather's home six miles from 
Lenoir, I found one once. It was very crude, and of course had 
no strings. No one knew who had made it, or to whom it be- 
longed. The dulcimer is related to the zither and was doubtless 
brought to this country by the Germans. 

"I wish that some sweet-voiced North Carolina girl would get 
an Irish harp and learn to play it and sing the lonesome tunes to 
that accompaniment. It would be a very effective thing. A group 



6 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

of English singers, the Fullers, came to America some 15 years 
ago with a concert that they called 'A Garland of English Country 
Song.' They used an Irish harp to accompany three girls singing 
ballads. Three of the songs they used in that program have 
appeared in this series. It is true that the Irish harp has not been 
used by North Carolina singers, and therefore might not be authen- 
tic, but it is the instrument to which the songs and their sweet, 
plaintive airs belong. If some girl with a low-pitched voice would 
sing to an Irish harp accompaniment "The Riddle Song,' 'The 
Gypso Davie,' and a lullabye that I have, it would be as beautiful 
a thing as anyone has done with North Carolina folk material. I 
can't sing. If she can, then I shall get her an Irish harp and teach 
her some of tl]e ballads. 

"In the very upper end of this county is a settlement known as 
Carey's Flats. It is tucked in under the long ridge of the Grand- 
father's Mountain and is one of the wildest and most picturesque 
places in the eastern end of the Blue Ridge. An old ballad singer 
died up there a few years ago, who knew and loved every song that 
I have written about in this series. She was a moonshiner. She 
made corn-liquor for 40-odd years, and was frequently 'up in court.' 
The first time that I remember seeing her, I was sent by my mother 
to the courthouse to give a message to my father. The courthouse 
then stood in the center of the square in Lenoir and was a square 
brick structure with a door and set of steps facing each point of the 
compass. The north entrance faced the town pump, and I chose 
that entrance to go in. This old woman stood on the lower step in 
earnest conversation with 'Governor' W. C. Newland and Moses 
Harshaw, two distinguished lawyers. 

"She wore a slat bonnet and a gray homespun dress, and was a 
lean, slab-sided old woman, but her smoky gray eyes were as keen 
and strong as those of a wildcat. Just as I slipped by her on the 
steps, she said : 'I can prove by God that I never made nary drop 
this side the Caldwell county line.' I shall never forget the feeling 
with which I paused on the top step and looked with awe-stricken 
eyes at the sky above, the blue sweep of mountains to the north. 
I feared that the awful thing the woman had said would bring 
immediate results. 

"Her home was as picturesque as she. It was a tiny cabin in a 
narrow hollow where the hills draw in close. Gray, weather-beaten, 
and old, it had sagged to a sort of resemblance of the hillside and 
cliffs behind it. Over the door hung a pair of buck's antlers and 
inside the cabin were a great many skins of animals and a few 
well-preserved heads of deer, wildcats, panthers, and other native 
animals. There was a vacant place over the mantel, or 'fireboard,' 
as she called it. Mr. Stokes Penland declared that she told him 
she was saving that space for the head of a 'revenue officer.' 

"The last time she was in court, the new county of Avery had 
been formed, and she was tried in Newland. The judge was loath 
to send an old woman to the State Prison, and she was obviously 
guilty. He ordered her to leave the State. She went 'jist a-little 
piece yan-side State-line Hill.' There she took up her abode. Two 
or three times a week she would drag her old form up Roan Moun- 



INTRODUCTION 7 

tain to look at the Grandfather. The Governor of North Carohna 
then was the gentle Bickett. Someone carried the story to him, and 
he rescinded the sentence and let her come home. 

"The last time I saw her was on the Yonahlossee turnpike, one 
summer afternoon. She strode along with several boys and men — 
sons and grandsons. Her slat bonnet was folded in the middle and 
lay across her head. She wore the same style dress she had worn 
on the long-ago morning when I heard her appeal to the Deity to 
prove her innocence of crime. Her smoky gray eyes had the film 
of age, but she smiled when I recalled myself to her and wanted 
to know if I were still 'traipsin' over the country huntin' old 
songs.' 

"She had 'riccolected' one that I might like, she thought, and 
she stopped, sat down on a log and sang it for me. It was one of 
the best I have, a traditional ballad that goes back to the fourteenth 
century and was in an excellent state of preservation. Unfor- 
tunately, it was much too broad in its subject matter for inclusion 
in any published collection. It had some interesting changes. A 
foot-page had become a 'foot-spade,' and a lord had become a 
landlord. Otherwise, the ballad was much as it was when some 
minstrel composed it. The story was of a girl who loved too well 
and followed her lover as his 'foot spade' through rivers and for- 
ests and across swamp and mountain to the home of his ancestors. 
His mother was puzzled at the beauty and charm of the page and 
warned her son that his wife might notice the 'boy.' I had my 
ballad book with me and showed the singer the original ballad. 
['Child Waters.'— F. C. B.] 

" 'Lord, I don't know Z from bull's foot,' she said. 'If I had to 
git my songs from ballits like you do, I'd have to quit the practice.' 

" 'It would be mighty nigh as hard on the old womern to quit 
singin' as it was to quit stillin',' one of the men in the party volun- 
teered. She withered him with a glance. 

"I read the ballad to her. Then I told her how old it was and 
how many generations of singers had sung it. 

" 'Well, they's been a-many of a womern with just about that 
much sense,' the old woman observed. 'When a womern gets her 
head set on a man she's apt to do any fool thing.' 

"She asked me to go to see her, and always I meant to do so. 
She died several years ago, and her cabin home is abandoned. It 
isn't far from the falls of Gregg's Prong of Wilson's Crest, and 
is included in the new boundary of the Pisgah National Forest. 
I hope the wardens and foresters will leave it alone and let it stand 
as a type of the homes that were built by the earlier pioneers." 

A few warnings and spare promises may not be inappropriate. 
The usual aesthetic criteria of poetry hardly apply to folk song. 
Folk song style is conventional, but its conventions are peculiar to 
it or are the castoff habits of older art poetry. One should not 
expect to encounter often in folk poetry a compelling image, and 
should feel pleased to find it, now and then, as in the blending of 
wind and train whistle in 'Down in the Valley.' Beauty and dis- 



8 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

tinction of line are usually lacking; curiosa felicitas of phrase is 
rare. There is little of the reflective or subjective element that 
one finds in noble art poetry. Human feeling is elemental, un- 
shaded. To look for these qualities in folk song is vain. But to 
read folk poetry is to come close to the preoccupations, the tastes, 
and the manners of our common humanity, to understand better the 
motives that have impelled average men and women throughout the 
ages, and the attitudes they have taken to the casualties of the 
human lot. Here is courage that meets disaster with a series of 
jests, as in 'The Ballit of the Boll Weevil'; and death with a 
wistful farewell to a banjo, as in 'Tom Dula's Lament,' in which 
the North Carolina mountaineer murderer precedes Willa Gather's 
Spanish Johnny, who 

The night before he swung he sang 
To his mandolin. 

Here, too, is a naive but sure grasp of the heart of tragedy, as in 
'Twenty-one Years Is a Mighty Long Time' — 

I've counted the days, Babe, I've counted the nights, 
I've counted the moments, I've counted the lights, 
I've counted the footsteps, I've counted the stars, 
I've counted a thousand of the prison bars. 

This is a collection of about nine hundred ballads and songs 
(with a few rhymes recited rather than sung) recovered chiefly 
from oral tradition among the people (white and colored) of North 
Carolina during the period 1912-44. They were collected by the 
late Frank C. Brown, of Trinity College and Duke University; 
the members of the North Carolina Folklore Society, of which 
Professor Brown was a founder and was for about thirty years 
secretary-treasurer and archivist ; friends and former students of 
Professor Brown ; and various interested individuals who had no 
direct relationship to Professor Brown or the North Carolina Folk- 
lore Society. A few of the ballads and songs are known to have 
been sung as far back as 1765 ; some, during the Revolutionary 
Period, the War of 1812, and the Civil War; many, during the 
latter half of the nineteenth century; most of them, during the first 
forty years of the present century. A majority, perhaps, are sur- 
vivals or modifications of ballads and songs imported from the Old 
World, and have been shared with the people of other states ; of 
these, a considerable number, in particular the forty-nine corre- 
sponding to ballads in Francis J. Child's The English and Scottish 
Popular Ballads, have a known history dating from the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries. A considerable number of pieces orig- 
inated in America, outside of North Carolina; one in 1761, the 
others during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A compar- 
atively small number originated in North Carolina. Irrespective of 



INTRODUCTION 9 

age, origin, and period of circulation, these ballads and songs have 
borne a needful part in the emotional and imaginative life of the 
people, as connected with their work and play, their loving and 
hating, their war-making and politicking, their nurture of children, 
and their worship of God. Together with relevant facts about the 
ballads and songs, this collection is published, under the auspices 
of Duke University and the North Carolina Folklore Society, as a 
memorial to the scholar and teacher whose lifelong love and care 
brought them together. 

The Editors of the Ballads and Songs in the Frank C. Brown 
Collection of North Carolina Folklore stand in a somewhat unusual 
relation to the material here presented. Neither is a native of 
North Carolina. One has never been in the state. The other has 
had only about twenty years' residence, at Chapel Hill. Though 
both have had experience as folk-song collectors in other fields, 
neither has collected extensively in North Carolina. Thus, they 
have lacked that intimacy of contact with the songs, the singers, and 
the milieu of this collection which they had when they edited their 
own collections. 

Consequently, for the local background and history of the ballads 
and songs, they have had to rely upon data supplied by the various 
collectors' notes and by Professor Brown's (these in some instances 
extensive), supplemented by results of such research as accessible 
printed documents and local inquiry and correspondence yielded. 
For some contributions, especially those of Mrs. Maude Minish 
Sutton, the notes have been abundant. For the great majority, 
however, the information furnished has been limited to the bare 
facts of local provenience — the name and (usually) the address of 
the singer or the informant, or of both, and generally, though not 
always, the date of the singing or transmission of the song. 

Such conditions affecting the editorial handling of the texts have 
not, of course, hampered investigation of the history of pieces 
known to be included in the collected corpus of American folk song, 
except (and this is sometimes an important exception) as this 
history has exhibited local features possible for the field worker 
himself to note, but not always noted by the collector or informant. 
Most of the relevant general facts concerning the history of pre- 
viously published songs are usually deducible from the collections 
containing them. The point where limitations of available informa- 
tion are most felt is in the handling of ballads and songs originated 
in North Carolina or strongly flavored by their currency in the 
state. In dealing with these, the Editors have often lamented their 
lack of the original collector's firsthand experience and observation, 
which frequently throw upon a song light obtained by no other 
means. The limitations of the Editors' contact with the ballads 
and songs have, then, made themselves felt in various ways. 



lO NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

One of these ways has had to do with the problem of classification 
and arrangement — always vexing under even the best conditions. 
As the Editors worked with the songs, within the frame of Pro- 
fessor Brown's collector's classification, it became evident that this 
frame, while good enough for collecting and filing the texts, would 
not be the clearest and most effective for published presentation, 
and that he himself would probably have modified it. Many of the 
groups overlapped, in a way that he perhaps did not realize, as the 
number and the variety of the songs began to pile up. Songs turned 
up which did not fit into any defined category. Some could not be 
classified confidently because the Editors lacked details of informa- 
tion which they might have noted or remembered if they had 
collected the songs themselves, but which it was impossible after 
the lapse of years to obtain. For example, some of the songs look 
like work songs, but there is no documentary evidence that they 
were used as such; some look like Negro spirituals, but (if the 
fact would make any difference!) there is nothing to show whether 
they were sung by Negroes or by whites; some "religious" songs 
are so naive or absurd, or seem to skate so near the thin ice of 
sacrilege, that they look like travesties, yet there is no evidence 
that the singers regarded them as such. 



THE OLDER BALL ADS— MOSTLY 
BRITISH 



AS MIGHT be expected from the liistory of the state, North 
•^*- CaroHna is rich in the older traditional ballads. The Frank 
C. Brown Collection shows as many of the ballads admitted by 
Child to his English and Scottish Popular Ballads as the Virginia 
Folklore Society found in that state (as reported in Davis's Tradi- 
tional Ballads of Virginia) and more than any other state collection 
except that of Maine (as reported by Barry in British Ballads from 
Maine). And among them are not only what might be called the 
standard favorites, ballads that appear in almost all American 
regional collections — 'Barbara Allan,' 'Lord Thomas and Fair 
Annet,' 'Sir Hugh or The Jew's Daughter,' 'The Farmer's Curst 
Wife,' 'The Golden Vanity' — but others that have seldom or never 
been recovered before on this side of the water. One of them, 
indeed, 'Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne,' a broken and decayed 
but none the less indisputable form of the original, has not been 
found anywhere in tradition since someone wrote it down in the 
famous Percy Folio three hundred years ago. 'The Wee Wee 
Man,' too, is unique in modern tradition. 'Thomas Rymer' has 
not heretofore been found in America. Others — 'Babylon,' 'Child 
Waters,' 'The Lass of Roch Royal' (as a complete ballad; certain 
stanzas of it are ubiquitous in American folk lyric), 'Sweet Wil- 
liam's Ghost,' 'The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter,' 'Robin 
Hood Rescuing Three Squires,' 'The Bonny Earl of Murray,' 'The 
Suffolk Miracle' — are unusual in American, some of them also in 
British, tradition. And there are some very interesting old songs 
outside the Child canon : 'The Ghost's Bride,' 'The Turkish Factor,' 
'The Prince of Morocco,' 'Nancy of Yarmouth,' 'The Bramble 
Briar,' and relics of the old carols — 'The Dilly Song,' "The Twelve 
Joys of Mary,' 'The Twelve Days of Christmas.' 

It is not surprising that North Carolina has kept these old songs 
as a live tradition. We sometimes forget that the earliest English 
settlement in America was made in North Carolina, on Roanoke 
Island, some twenty years before the permanent planting at James- 
town. And when, not long after, permanent settlements were made 
in North Carolina, they consisted, for the most part, of simple folk. 
So much so as to arouse in William Byrd of Westover, cultivated 
Virginia gentleman (and shrewd-eyed appraiser of land values), a 



12 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

hundred years later, an amused contempt for the people south of the 
Dividing Line — parsonless, largely lawyer-less, and lazy, a Lubber- 
land folk. Of Edenton. on Albemarle Sound, a town in 1728 of 
some forty or fifty small and inexpensive houses, he opined that 
it was "the only metropolis in the Christian or Mahometan world 
where there is neither church, chapel, mosque, synagogue, or any 
other place of public worship of any sect or religion whatsoever"; 
but he added that "not a soul has the least taint of hypocrisy or 
superstition, acting very frankly and above-board in all their ex- 
cesses." Plain people, evidently ; the sort of people that would 
naturally retain the old ballads as the poetic expression of their 
life and feelings. And when, later in Byrd's century, the wave of 
Scotch and Scotch-Irish came across the water to the New World, 
they brought their old songs with them. In North Carolina, as in 
the adjoining colonies north and south, the newcomers found the 
richer lands along the coast already taken up and went inland, to- 
wards the mountains, establishing themselves there on the frontier 
and again, a generation or two later, proceeding over the mountains 
to occupy a new frontier in Kentucky and Tennessee. Their 
descendants are still there, in the mountain counties, living much 
as their forefathers did when they first came and singing many 
of the same songs. Mrs. Sutton's notes on the ballads she collected 
in Caldwell and neighboring counties provide many delightful pic- 
tures of these people, some of which will be found in the headnotes 
to the ballads. They still make ballads of their own, too. Thomas 
Smith of Zionville tells of a ballad singer of Watauga county, 
John Yarber, who was famous for his renditions of 'Barbara Allan' 
and 'The House Carpenter' ('James Harris') : "People of our settle- 
ment used to call on Mr. Yarber to sing whenever he visited 
them. . . . Mr. Yarber (we always called him 'Uncle Johnny') 
was not an educated man, but took great delight in music. He 
even composed songs on local happenings, etc., and sang them to 
his friends who wished to hear them." 



The Elfin Knight 
(Child 2) 

This set of courting riddles, commonly known in this country 
as 'The Cambric Shirt,' though not very old (the earliest text known 
to Child was a seventeenth-century broadside), has persisted rather 
well both in the old country and in America. It has been reported 
from tradition in Ireland, Aberdeenshire, Yorkshire, Northumber- 
land, Sussex, Wiltshire, and Somerset, and in Maine, Vermont, 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, 
North Carolina (apart from the present collection), Georgia, 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I3 

Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Mich- 
igan, Nebraska, and California. It has two chief types of refrain, 
one of which, "rosemary and thyme," undergoes strange trans- 
formations on the tongues of singers — none stranger, perhaps, than 
the "arose Mary in time" and "Rose de Marian time" of texts A 
and B below. The other type, represented in text C below, seems 
to be only American. It is recognizable in Child's version J, which 
came from Massachusetts, and in texts from Maine, Vermont, 
Indiana, Missouri, and Texas, but I have not found it in British 
texts. 



'The Cambric Shirt.' Sent in by Professor W. Amos Abrams, formerly 
of the Appalachian State Teachers College, Boone, Watauga county, as 
secured from Mary Bost, of Statesville, Iredell county. 

1 As I went through Wichander's town, 
Arose Mary in time ! 

I threw my specs to a certain young woman 
And told her she could be a true lover of mine. 

2 Tell her to make me a cambric shirt, 
Arose Mary in time ! 

Without seam or needle's work 
Before she can be a true lover of mine. 

3 Tell her to wash it in a w^ell 
Arose Mary in time ! 

Where water never ran nor rain never fell 
Before she can be a true lover of mine. 

4 Tell her to hang it on a thorn, 
Arose Mary in time ! 

Where leaves never grew since Adam was born 
Before she can be a true lover of mine. 



As I went through Wichander's town, 
Arose Mary in time ! 

I threw my specs to a certain young man 
And told him he could be a true lover of mine. 

Tell him to clean up one acre of ground, 
Arose Mary in time ! 
Between salt sea and Dace town 
Before he can be a true lover of mine. 

Tell him to plow it with a thorn, 
Arose Mary in time ! 
Plant it all over with one grain of corn 
Before he can be a true lover of mine. 



14 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

8 Tell him to reap it with a pea-fowl's feather, 
Arose Mary in time ! 

Wrap it all up with one stirrup of leather 
Before he can be a true lover of mine. 

9 Tell him to thrash it against the wall, 
Arose Mary in time 1 

For his life, never let a grain fall, 
Before he can be a true lover of mine. 

lo Tell him to take it to the mill. 
Arose Mary in time ! 
Every grain a barrel shall fill 
Before he can be a true lover of mine. 



'Rose de Marian Time.' Recorded by Professor Richard Chase of the 
Institute of Folk Music at Chapel Hill in 1936 from the singing of 
Mrs. Fannie Norton of Norton, N. C. Similar to A, but the refrain 
is "Rose de Marian Time," the first stanza has "yonder town" and 
"young lady" instead of "Wichander's town" and "young woman," and 
it lacks the odd expression "I threw my specs." Instead of "Between 
salt sea and Dace town" it has "Between salt water and sea shore." 

There is in the collection another text sent in by Professor Chase in 
the same year, a version "edited for teaching." It is not clear from 
the manuscript just what the editing consists of, nor whence this version 
was procured. The last six of its ten stanzas (without the second and 
fourth lines, i.e., the refrain) run as follows: 

5 I came back from yonder town — 
She sent word to that young man. 

6 Tell him to clear me an acre of land — 
Between the sea and the salt sea strand. 

7 Tell him to plow it with a muley cow's horn — 
And sow it all over with one grain of corn. 

8 Tell him to reap it with a stirrup leather — 
And bind it all up in a chee-chicken feather. 

9 Tell him to thresh it in a shoe sole — 
And crib it all in a little mouse hole. 

10 Tell him when he's done this work — 
Come to town and get his shirt. 

c 

'The Cambric Shirt.' Two stanzas only, contributed in 1923, by Mil- 
dred Peterson of Bladen county. 

I Can you make me a cambric shirt — 
Flunia luna lokey slomy — 
Without seam or fine needle work? 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 15 

From a tastum tasalum tenipluni 
Flunia luna a lokey slomy. 

2 Can you wash it in a well — 

Where water never run nor well's never full? 



Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight 
(Child 4) 

For the history of this ballad in many lands and tongues, see 
Child's headnote in English and Scottish Popular Ballads and 
Grundtvig's in Danmarks gandc Folkei'iscr, and for its occurrence 
since Child's time in the British Isles and in America, see BSM 
5-6 — and add to the references there given Arkansas (OFS i 47), 
Florida (FSF 237-41), and Missouri (OFS i 45-6). It is a favorite 
among the ballad singers of North Carolina; Mrs. Sutton reports 
that it was sung by Mrs. Hall in Buncombe county, by Mrs. Gordon 
in Henderson county, by Mrs. Brown in Avery county, and others. 
Mrs. Steely records three texts, with tunes, found in the Ebenezer 
community in Wake county. The name of the heroine varies. Most 
often it is Polly. The names Clovanne (in version C) and Cold Rain 
(in version D) may be assumed to derive from the May Colvin of 
British broadside versions. The villain, if named at all — as gen- 
erally he is not in the North Carolina versions — is William. All 
three of the scenes that make up the story, the elopement, the 
drowning, the dialogue with the parrot, are present in all the 
North Carolina versions, even the much reduced F. Versions D, 
E, and G show the shift of grammatical person from the first per- 
son to the third which is so frequent in traditional balladry. 

A 
'Pretty Polly.' Recorded by Mrs. Sutton but from which of the many 
whom she heard sing it is not clear from her covering letter. It re- 
sembles version P of the Virginia collection by beginning with the girl's 
warning to the bird not to betray her — though the bird here is a crow- 
ing chicken and seems to have no connection with the parrot which 
appears in its accustomed place at the close. There is in the Collection 
another copy of this version lacking the last stanza and called 'The 
King's Daughter,' with the tune as sung by Mrs. J. J. Miller (the 
Myra Barnett from whom Mrs. Sutton learned so many of her ballads). 

1 'My pretty little crowin' chicken, 
It's don't you crow too soon, 

And your wings shall be of the yellow beaten gold 
And your comb of the silver so gay gay gay 
And your comb of the silver so gay.' 

2 She stole her father's horses, 
And she rode the dappled bay. 

And she travelled till she came to the salt-water sea 



l6 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Six hours before it was day day day, 
Six hours before it was day. 

3 'Light down, light down, pretty Polly, 
And stand by the side of me. 

For the six king's daughters that I have drowned here. 
And the seventh daughter you shall be be be. 
And the seventh daughter you shall be. 

4 TuU off, pull off those fine, fine clothes 
And give them unto me; 

For I do think that they're too costly and too fine 
To rot in the salt-water sea sea sea. 
To rot in the salt-water sea.' 

5 'Oh turn your back all unto me 

And your face to the leaves on the tree; 
For I do think it's a scandal and a shame 
That a naked woman you should see see see, 
That a naked woman you should see.' 

6 He turned his back all unto her 
And his face to the leaves on the tree. 
She picked him up so manly and so strong 
And pitched him into the salt-water sea, 
And pitched him into the sea. 

7 'Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man, 
Lie there in the place of me. 

For the six king's daughters that you have drowned there, 
And the seventh daughter you shall be be be. 
And the seventh daughter you shall be.' 

8 She rode her father's horse 
And she led the dappled bay, 

And she rode till she came to her own father's house 
Three hours before it was day day day. 
Three hours before it was day. 

9 'Oh, where have you been, pretty Polly, 
So long before it is day?' 

[O 'Oh, hush, oh, hush, my little parrot, 
And tell no tales on me, 

And your cage it shall be of the yellow beaten gold 
And the doors of the ivory ry ry. 
And the doors of the ivory. 

[I 'Oh, why do you wake, my little parrot, 
So long before it is day?' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I7 

'There came a cat unto my nest to rob me of my rest, 
And I called pretty Polly to drive it away, 
And I called pretty Polly to drive it away.' 



'The Seven Sisters.' Another version secured later (in the summer of 
1928) by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of Mrs. Rebecca Gordon of 
Saluda Mountain, Henderson county. In this the modesty motif is 
omitted (after stanza 3). In the manuscript the final syllable of each 
stanza except the first is twice repeated as in the preceding line. This 
procedure, whicli violates the customary rhythm of l)allad verse, I have 
assumed to be an error of transcription and have accordingly reduced 
each stanza to the norm of stanza i. The "fuss" of stanza 5 is pre- 
sumably a mis writing (it could hardly be a mishearing) of "fair," the 
adjective commonly applied to Scotland in this place. For the reading 
"maid" in the second line I have no explanation ; to read it "made" does 
not greatly help. Stanza 2 has lost one line and stanza 4 has lost three. 

1 He followed her upstairs and down 
And into her chamber maid ; 

She had no arms for to force him away, 
No tongue for to tell him nay nay nay, 
No tongue for to tell him nay. 

2 She told him to go to her father's stable 
And choose two of the best horses 

Out of thirty-two or three three three, 
Out of thirty-two or three. 

3 They rode and they rode till the middle of the night. 
Until they came to the sea. 

He said, 'Here Fve drowned six king's daughters. 
And the seventh you shall be be be, 
And the seventh you shall be.' 

4 She picked him up so strong in her arms 
And splunged him into the sea. 

5 'Come here, come here, my pretty Polly dear. 
Come pull me out of here ; 

I'll take you to the fuss Scotland 
And there Pll marry thee thee thee, 
And there Pll marry thee.' 

6 'Lie there, lie there, you false young man. 
Lie there in place of me ; 

For here you drownded six king's daughters 
And the seventh drownded thee thee thee. 
And the seventh drownded thee.' 



7 She mounted on the milk-white steed 
And led the dappled bay. 



lO NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

She came home to her father's hall 
One hour before 'twas day day day, 
One hour before 'twas day. 

8 A-passin' by her parrot's cage 
He begun to chatter to me : 
'What's the matter/ pretty Polly dear, 
Makes you travel so long before day day day, 
Makes you travel so long before day?' 

9 'Hush up, hush up, pretty Polly dear. 
And tell no tales on me ; 

I'll make your cage of the new Buton- gold 
With a door of ivory ry ry, 
With a door of ivory.' 

[O The parrot chattered till her father woke. 
All in his bed he lay ; 

Said, 'What's the matter, pretty parrot bird. 
Makes you chatter so long before day day day, 
Makes you chatter so long before day ?' 

[ I 'The cat he's a-settin' at my cage door. 
Saying he will savour me ; 
I was a-callin' to pretty Polly dear 
To drive the cat away, way way. 
To drive the cat away.' 



'The Seventh King's Daughter.' This appears twice among the type- 
scripts of the Collection, in one of the copies ascribed to the J. B. 
Henneman collection with a note saying that it was collected from a 
Mrs. Simpkins (the source of Henneman's North Carolina texts), in the 
other attributed directly to Mrs. Simpkins without saying who secured it 
but noting that Mrs. Simpkins thought "there was an introductory stanza 
or more which she could not remember." We print the second form, 
with notation of the differences — few and slight — between the two. The 
"Wessymore land" of stanzas 5 and lo is presumably a corruption of 
"Westmoreland." The spelling "Covanne" in stanza 4 is doubtless 
merely a slip ; elsewhere in this copy and throughout in the other copy 
the name is spelled "Clovanne." The third line of stanza i is incon- 
sistent with the conclusion. 

1 He followed her up, he followed her down, 
He followed her to where she stayed. 

She hadn't no father to bid him begone, 
No time to say hitn nay. 

2 'Go get it's all of your mother's gold, 

^ The manuscript has "do" before "pretty" ; presumably a meaning- 
less slip of the pen. 
* Miswritten, clearly, for "beaten." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH I9 

And some of your father's fee, 

And you will have a steed for tu ride upon, 

The best of thirty and three.' 

3 Then she mounted her milk-white steed 
And he on his dapple^ grey. 

They rode down to the wide water 
Four hours before it was day. 

4 'Come get you down, my pretty Covanne, 
Come get you down.' says he ; 

'For I have drowned six king's daughters; 
The seventh you shall be.' 

5 'Oh, if you have drowned the six king's daughters, 
Oh, why should you drown me, 

When you promised to carry me to the Wessymore land 
And marry along with me?' 

6 'Oh, pull ofi that satin silk gown 
And spread it on yonder shore. 
It is too rich and over costlie 

To rot in the salt sea sound.' 

7 'Well, turn your face to the wide waters, 
Your back to the leaves of the tree ; 

It never became a man like you 
A naked woman to see.' 

8 He turned his face to the wide waters, 
His back to the leaves of the tree. 

She picked him up in her arms so strong, 
She hove him in the sea. 

9 'Come help me out, my ]>retty Clovanne, 
Come help me out,' says he, 

'And I'll double those things three times over 
That ever I've told unto thee.' 

10 'Lie there, lie there, thou false-hearted William, 
Lie there instead of me ; 

For you promised to carry me to the Wessymore lands 
And married we would be.' 

11 'Come help me out, my pretty Clovanne, 
Come help me out,' says he. 

*I will carry you to the Wessymore lands 
And married we will be.' 
* The other copy has here "topsi." 



20 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

12 'Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted William, 
Lie there instead of me. 

You said that you had drowned the six king's daughters; 
The seventh you shall be.' 

13 Then she mounted the milk-white steed 
And drew up her dapple grey ; 

She rode home to her father's gate 
Two hours before it was day. 

14 The parrot to her cage window, 
The parrot there did stay. 

She called unto her pretty Clovanne, 

'What makes you a-stirring so long before day?' 

15 'Oh, hush, oh, hush, my pretty parrot, 
Don't tell no tales on me. 

And you shall have a cage of the finest gold, 
The finest you ever did see.' 

16 Her father into his bed chamber 
It is called- where he did lay. 
He called unto the pretty parrot, 

'Wliar makes you a-talking so long before day?' 

17 'The cat has come to my cage window 
My innocent life to betray ; 

I called upon my pretty Clovanne, 
"Come drive this cat away." ' 



'Pretty Cold Rain.' From the manuscript book of songs of Miss Edith 
Walker of Boone, Watauga county. Though it does not differ greatly 
from the three preceding versions, it is given here as illustrating the 
shift of person; it begins as first person narrative by the girl but passes 
in the third stanza to the third person. At the close is written 'Repeat 
the last two lines' — which I take to be a direction governing the stanza 
structure throughout. 

1 He followed me up and he followed me down, 
He followed me where I lay ; 

I had not the heart to tell him to be gone 
Nor tongue to say 'Oh no.' 

2 'Go bring me some of your father's gold. 
Likewise your mother's fee ; 

And I will take you to the salt sea waters 
And there I'll marry thee.' 
* Omitted in the other copy, which has simply "It is where he did lay." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 21 

3 She brought him some of her father's gold, 
Likewise her mother's fee, 

And they went on to her father's horse stables 
Where his horses thirty and three. 

4 He mounted her upon the Turkish brown 
And himself on the iron grey. 

They were at the salt sea waters 
Three hours before it came day. 

5 'Light down, light down, you pretty Cold Rain, 
Light down, I say to thee. 

Right here I've drowned six kings' daughters. 
And the seventh you shall be. 

6 'Pull off, pull off them gay new clothes, 
Throw 'em on yonder stone ; 

For they air too fine and too costly 
To be rotted in the salt sea foam.' 

7 'It's turn your back toward the pretty green leaves 
And your face toward the sea, 

For you are not fitten, you false-lighted villain. 
For a naked woman to see.'^ 

8 He turned his back to the pretty green leaves 
And his face toward the sea. 

She picked him up in her arms so strong 
And plunged him in the sea. 

9 'Your hand, your hand, my pretty Cold Rain, 
Your hand, I say to thee ; 

And all the promises I ever made to thee 
I'll double them thirty and three.' 

10 'Lie there. He there, you false-hearted vissain,^ 
Lie there, I say to thee ; 

You said you'd drowned six kings' daughters, 
And you yourself the seventh shall be.' 

1 1 She mounted herself on the Turkish brown 
And she led the iron grey. 

She was at her father's own dwelling 
One hour before it came day. 

12 It's up then spoke the little parrot 
As it sat in its cage : 

* So the manuscript ; but the meaning clearly is "A naked woman for 
to see." 

* So the manuscript ; miswritten, evidently, for "villain." 



22. NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'Oh, what's the matter, my pretty Cold Rain, 
Makes you walk so long before day ?' 

13 'It's hush your mouth, my little parrot. 
And tell no tales on me ; 

Your cage shall be made of the beaten beaten gold 
And doors of the ivory.' 

14 It's up then spoke her old father 
As he lay in his room : 

'Oh, what's the matter, my little parrot, 
Makes yoy talk so long before day?' 

15 'It's here is a cat at my cage door 
Trying to catch me. 

And I was a-calling to my pretty Cold Rain 
To drive the old catty-puss away.' 

E ^ 
'Sweet William.' Communicated by Mrs. T. L. Perry, who earlier 
under her maiden name of Isabel Rawn had made numerous and valuable 
contributions of North Carolina folk song to the JAFL. It is amusing 
to find "steed" changed to "stage" ; evidently the singer thought of the 
eloping couple as going oflf in the stagecoach harnessed to the dappled 
grey — see stanza 13. One wonders what relation, if any, existed in the 
singer's mind between the Sweet William whose grave they drive to in 
stanza 5 and the Sweet William who is the villain of the story. This 
version also has the shift of person, not passing definitely to the third 
person until stanza 9. 

1 Sweet WiUiam rode across the Darkely Mountain 
And he first came a-courting of me me, 

And he first came a-courting of me. 

2 He followed me up and he followed me down 
And he followed me into my little chamber 
Where I had no tongue for to say him nay 
Nor had no wings for to fly away. 

3 He told me to take my father's gold 
And part [of] my father's fee 

And the milk-white stage and the dappled gray, 
And the milk-white stage and the dappled gray. 

4 I took my father's gold 

And a part [of] my father's fee 

And the milk-white stage and the dappled gray, 

And the milk-white stage and the dappled gray. 

5 We rode the milk-white stage 
And drove the dappled gray, 

We rode, we rode to the grave of Sweet William 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 23 

One hour before it was day day, 
One hour before it was day. 

6 Up spake this false young William and this he did say: 
'Light down here, pretty Polly, light down here beside of 

me; 
For three young maids I have drowned here 
And the fourth one you shall be be, 
And the fourth one you shall be. 

7 'Pull off that costly robe 
And hang it on my knee ; 
For it cost too much money 
To rot in the sea sea, 

To rot in the sea.' 

8 'Oh, turn your back upon me, 
Upon the naked leaf tree, 

For a naked woman is a sinful sight 
For a man to see see, 
For a naked woman is a sinful sight 
For a man to see.' 

9 He turned his back upon her. 
Upon the naked leaf tree ; 

She picked him up by the middle of the swalls^ 
And tossed him into the sea sea. 
And tossed him into the sea. 

10 'Lay there, lay there, you false young man, 
Lay there in the place of me ; 

For three fair maids you have drowned here 
And the fourth one yourself shall be be. 
And the fourth one yourself shall be.' 

11 'Oh, give me your hand, pretty Polly, 
Oh, give me your hand, I pray ; 
You shall not drown in the sea, 

But be my bride today day, 
But be my bride today.' 

12 'Lay there, lay there, you false young man, 
Lay there in the place of me ; 

For three fair maids you have drowned here 
And the fourth one yourself shall be be, 
And the fourth one yourself shall be.' 

^ Is this miswritten — or misread — for "smalls," i.e., small-clothes, 
breeches ? 



24 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

13 She rode the milk-white stage 
And drove the dappled gray, 

She drove, she drove to her father's house 
One hour before it was day day, 
One hour before it was day. 

14 Up spake her kind old father 
And this he did say : 

'What made you rise, pretty Polly, 
An hour before it was day day, 
And hour before it was day?' 

15 Then spake her little parrot 
And this it did say: 

'The cat ran across my cage door 

And she came for to drive it away away, 

And she came for to drive it away.' 

16 'Oh, hold your tongue, my pretty little bird. 
And tell no lies on me ; 

I will line your cage in yellow beaten gold 
And hang it on the naked leaf tree tree, 
And hang it on the naked leaf tree. 

17 'Oh, hold your tongue, my pretty little bird, 
And tell no lies on me ; 

I will dress your cage in ribbon fine 
And hang it on the naked leaf tree tree. 
And hang it on the naked leaf tree. 

F ^ 
'The Six Fair Maids.' Sent in by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga 
county, with the notation that it was recited to him February i, 191 5, 
by a relative of his, Mrs. Rebecca Icenham, who had always lived in 
Watauga county and had know this song since her childhood. Although 
considerably reduced, it contains all the essentials of the story. 

1 He jumped upon the milk-white steed 
And her on the iron gray. 

They rode till they come to the river side, 
Two hours before it was day. 

2 'Light off, light off, my pretty little miss. 
Light you off, I say. 

Six pretty maids have I drowned here, 
And you the seventh shall be. 

3 'Pull off that fine silk dress 
And hang it on my knee. 
It is too fine and costly 
To rot in the sea sandee.* 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 25 

4 'Turn your back, you dirty dog, 
Turn your back,' said she ; 
'Ain't it a shame and a scandal 
A naked woman for to see !' 

5 She picked him up so manfully 
And plunged him into the sea. 

'Six fair maids you have drowned here, 
And you the seventh shall be.' 

6 'Hold your tongue, my pretty parrot. 
Don't tell no tales on me. 

And your cage shall l)e lined with gold dust 
And your doors with ivoree.' 

'Seventh King's Daughter.' One of the songs collected by Professors 
VV. Amos Abrams and Gratis D. Williams of the Appalachian State 
Teachers College in 1945 from the singing of Pat Frye of East Bend, 
Yadkin county. Frye was then seventy-three years old and had lived 
in or near East Bend all his life. He had been a tobacco farmer and a 
miller, but at the time the songs were collected had been for some years 
totally blind. He had a wide repertory of songs. The language of this 
text is not always clear. Note that it begins in the first person of the 
man but after three stanzas of pure dialogue passes to third person 
narration. 

1 She wrapped her mother up 
She rolled her father up in speed. 

She stole the keys from the stable door 
And followed after me me mc, 
And followed after me. 

2 'Oh, light, oh, light, my pretty fair miss, 
Oh, light, oh, light, pretty Polly. 
There is the place I drownded six. 
And the seventh you shall be be be. 
And the seventh you shall be. 

3 'Pull oflF, pull off that little white silk 
And spread it on the green ; 

It is too costly of a dress 

To rot in the roaring sea sea sea, 

To rot in the roaring sea.' 

4 'Oh, turn your face it's all about. 
Your back to the leaves on the tree. 
Till I pull off my little white silk 

And spread it on the green green green. 
And spread it on the green.' 



26 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

5 He turned his face 'twas all about, 
His back to the leaves on the tree. 
She didn't pull off her little white silk ; 
She pushed him into the sea sea sea. 
She pushed him into the sea. 

6 'Oh help, oh help, my pretty fair miss, 
Oh help, oh help, pretty Polly, 

And we'll go back to your father's house 

And married we will be be be, 

And married we will be.' f 

7 'Lie thar, lie thar, oh, sink or swim ; 
It as well be you as me,^ 

And I can get back to my father's house 
Without the help of thee thee thee, 
Without the help of thee.' 

8 She got upon her milk-white stage 
And had to trace her way ; 

And when she got to her father's house 
It was one otter^ day day day, 
It was one otter day. 

9 'Where have you been, my pretty fair miss. 
Where have you been, pretty Polly? 
Where have you been, my pretty fair miss, 
So long before 'tis day day day. 

So long before 'tis day?' 

10 'Oh hush, oh, hush, my pretty parrot. 
And tell no tales on me. 

Your ring shall be of the neden nedeu'* gold 
And your combs of the iris-* gay gay gay. 
And your combs of the iris gay.' 

1 1 'Oh, what said what said,' the old man says. 
'They* come a scaddy to my stage 

And swore he wrestle with me. 
And I called to my pretty Polly 
To run the scaddy away way way. 
To run the scaddy away.' 

^ This line reads in the manuscript "It well as be you as me," which 
possibly is really Frye's idiom. 

' So the manuscript. Probably stands for "It was one hour to day." 

' How "beaten" becomes "neden" and "ivory" "iris" it is hard to say. 

* This spelling for the aphetic form of "there," common in rustic 
speech, occurs not infrequently in the manuscripts of the Collection. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 27 

3 

Earl Brand 

(Child 7) 

This admirable specimen of the tragic ballad seems to have held 
its place in the favor of ballad singers better in America than in 
the old country. Greig reports it from Scotland, to be sure, both 
in the Folk-Songs of the N orth-liast and in Last Leaves, and Ord 
has it in his Bothy Songs; but the absence of any mention of it 
in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society seems to show that it is 
extinct in English tradition. On this side of the Atlantic it has 
been reported as traditional song in Newfoundland (BSSN 7-8), 
Nova Scotia (BSSNS 9-11), Maine (BBM 35-40), Virginia 
(TBV 86-91, SharpK i 21-3, 25), West Virginia (FSS 18-19), 
Kentucky (SharpK i 24-5), Tennessee (FSSH 36-7, BTFLS viii 
64-5), North Carolina (JAFL xxviii 152-4, SharpK 1 14-19, SSSA 
45-6, BMFSB lo-ii, SCSM 115-16), Georgia (SharpK i 19-20), 
Mississippi (FSM 66-8), Florida (SFLQ viii 136-8), the Ozarks 
(OMF 219-21, OFS I 48-9), Indiana (BSI 37-8), and IlHnois 
JAFL LX 241-2). 'The Soldier's Wooing,' reckoned by some 
as a secondary form of "Earl Brand,' is dealt with later in the 
present volume. The American texts follow in general the tradi- 
tion of Scott's form of the ballad ('The Douglas Tragedy' of the 
Minstrelsy, Child's version B), clinging in particular to the 
'"buglet horn" that "hung down by his side," recognizable through 
a variety of transformations. Old Carl Hood has vanished en- 
tirely. Most of the North Carolina versions, and also that from 
Georgia, have introduced a new element, the question of the hero's 
origin. W^hen scornfully described by the girl's father as "a stew- 
ard's son" (transformed in texts A, C, F below into "Stuart's 
son"), he proudly declares that his father is a regis king and his 
mother a Quaker's queen. Possibly this has been picked up, and 
corrupted, from the English stall ballad of 'The Orphan Gypsy 
Girl,' the opening line of which in Cox's West Virginia version 
(FSS 335) runs: "My father is king of the gypsies, my mother is 
queen of the Jews." 



'Fair Ellender.' Secured from Miss E. B. Fish of White Rock, Madi- 
son county, in 1913. The spelling "mound" for "mounted" in stanzas 
3 and 10 appears also in Perrow's version, JAFL xxviii 152-3, and is 
perhaps phonetic. Indeed, upon close inspection this text is the same 
as Perrow's except that that has "steward's" instead of "Stewart's" in 
stanzas i and 2 and has "Fair Ellender she sat still" instead of "Fair 
Ellender she still sat still" as the first line of stanza 7. Perrow says 
that his text is from a manuscript "lent E. N. Caldwell 1913" from 
North Carolina. Inasmuch as Miss Fish was an independent collector 
and had a considerable store of ballad manuscript, it seems probable that 
the manuscript Perrow used was hers. I therefore do not print the 
version here. Presumably the two slight differences noted above are 
editorial corrections on Perrow's part. 



NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



'Sweet William and Fair Ellen.' Contributed by I. G. Greer of Boone. 
Watauga county, in 1913. The "sight" of stanza 6 is probably a mis- 
reading by somebody of "light" — though A has here "sit." There is in 
the Collection another copy of Greer's version which lacks the last two 
stanzas. 

1 Sweet William rode up to the Old Man's gate 
And boldly he did say : 

'The youngest daughter she may stay at home 
But the oldest I'll take away.' 

2 'Come in, come in. all seven of my sons, 
And guard your sister around. 

For it never shall be said that the steward's son 
Has taken my daughter out of town.' 

3 'I thank you, sir, and it's very kind ; 
I'm none of the steward's son ; 

My father was a rich Reginer's king, 
My mother a Quaker's queen.' 

4 So he got on his snow-white steed 
And she on the dappled grey. 

He swung his bugle horn around his neck 
And they went riding away. 

5 They hadn't gone more'n a mile out of town 
Till he looked back again. 

And he saw her father and seven of her brothers 
Come trippling over the plain. 

6 'Sight down, sight down, fair Ellen,' said he, 
'And hold my steed by the rein 

Till I fight your father and seven of your brothers 
Come trippling over the plain.' 

7 She got right down and she stood right still, 
Not a word did she return. 

Till she saw her father and seven of her brothers 
A-rolling in their own heart's blood. 

8 'Slack your hands, slack your hands, sweet William,' said 

she, 
'Your wounds are very sore ; 
The blood runs free from every vein. 
A father can I have no more.' 



So he got on his snow-white steed 
And she on the dappled grey. 
He swung his bugle horn around his neck 
And they went bleeding way. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 29 

10 Soon they rode up to his mother's gate 
And tingling on the ring. 

'Oh mother, oh mother, asleep or awake, 
Arise and let me in ! 

11 'Oh mother, oh mother, bind my head! 
My wounds are very sore. 

The blood runs free from every vein ; 
For me you will bind them no more.' 

12 About two hours before 'twas day 
The fowls began to crow. 

Sweet William died from the wounds he received. 
Fair Ellen died for sorrow. 

13 Sweet William died like it was today. 
Fair Ellen died tomorrow. 

Sweet William died from the wounds he received, 
Fair Ellen died for sorrow. 

c V 
'Seven Brothers.' Contributed by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga 
county, "just as sung by Miss Julia Grogan, March 17, 1915. She heard 
it over 40 years ago." Stanza 9 seems to be peculiar to the southern 
Appalachians ; it appears, sometimes confused, in the Georgia text and 
in two of those from North Carolina in the Sharp-Karpeles collection. 
In the Mississippi text it is the woman who repents : 

I wish myself in old Ireland 

And you in the middle of the sea. 

1 He rode up by the old man's gate 
And boldly he did say : 

'Your oldest daughter you can keep at home 
But the youngest one I'll take away.' 

2 'Come in, come in, all seven of my sons. 
ril bring your sister down ; 

For I never intend to have it said 
Stuart's son took my daughter ofif.' 

3 'I thank you, sir, this is very kind. 
Fm none of the Stuart's sons. 
My father's a rich old king. 

My mother she's a queen.' 

4 He mounted on a milk-white steed 
And her on a dapple grey. 

He swung his bugle horn around his neck 
And blowed as he rode away. 

5 He had not got more'n a mile from town 
Till he, looking back again, 



30 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

He saw her father and seven of her brothers 
Come tripping over the plain. 

6 'Light you down, fair Ellen,' said he, 
'And hold my steed by the rein 

Till I fight your father and seven of your brothers 
That's tripping over the plain.' 

7 She got down and stood right still 
And never turned a word 

Till she saw her father and seven of her brothers 
Wallowing in their own heart's blood. 

8 'Slack your hand, Willie,' said she ; 
'Your wounds are very sore. 

The blood flows free from every vein. 
But a father I can have no more.' 

9 'If you don't like what I have done 
You may like some other one. 

For I wish you was in your father's chamber 
And I in some house or at home.' 

10 He mounted on his milk-white steed 
And her on the dapple grey. 

He swung his bugle horn around his neck 
And went bleeding away. 

11 He rode till he came to his mother's gate 
And tangled at the ring 

Saying, 'Mother, are you asleep or awake? 
Rise and let me come in.' 

12 He went into his sister's room. 
Where he had often been before. 
Saying, 'Sister, bind my head for me, 
For it you'll bind no more.' 

13 Sweet William died betwixt that and midnight; 
The fowls had begun to crow. 

Sweet William died from the wounds he received, 
Fair Ellen died from sorrow. 

D 

'As He Rode Up to the Old Man's Gate.' Contributed by Mrs. N. T. 
Byers of Zionville, Watauga county, in 1922. Corresponds stanza by 
stanza to version C with slight verbal differences, except that it lacks 
the ninth stanza of C entirely, that "Stuart" becomes "steward." that it 
is the oldest, not the youngest daughter that he carries off, and that he 
asks his mother, not his sister, to bind up his wounds. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 3I 

E -^ 

'Sir William and Fair Ellender.' Reported by W. Amos Abrams. It 
belongs to the same tradition as C and D, and offers no significant 
variants from C except that, like D, it omits the ninth stanza of C, has 
"steward" instead of "Stuart," omits the penultimate stanza of C, and 
has a "rich risen king" and "a quaker queen" in stanza 3. 

F ^ 
'Sweet Willie.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of Myra 
Barnett (afterwards Mrs. J. J. Miller) in the Brushies of Caldwell 
county. It was from Myra that Mrs. Sutton (then Maude Minish) 
first learned many of the ballads in her collection. Mrs. Sutton notes 
that this ballad is very widely known in the South : "There is at least 
one ballad singer in every mountain county that sings it." The text 
belongs to the same tradition as the others already listed. The man is 
Sweet Willie, the girl is Lady Margaret. Regarding his ancestry Sweet 
Willie says 

My father is a raging king, 
My mother she's a Quaker's queen 
and denies that he is a Stuart's son. The ninth stanza is here retained: 

'If you don't like what I have done, 

Go hunt some other man, 

Or stay at home in your mother's chamberie 

Or in some house or room.' 
The last three stanzas are: 

12 'Oh, mother, mother, come bind my head; 
My wounds they are very sore. 

The blood runs from every wound. 
My head you'll bind no more. 

13 'Oh, mother, mother, make my bed, 
And make it long and wide, 

Lay my good broadsword at my feet, 
Lady Margaret by my side.' 

14 Sweet William he died before mid-night. 
Lady Margaret died tomorrow. 

Sweet Willie died of the wounds he received, 
Lady Margaret died of sorrow. 



'Sweet Willie.' Another text contributed by Mrs. Sutton, who sang it 
for Dr. Brown, May 15, 1921, "just as they were sung to me \\\ a little 
hut on Beach Mountain"— but she does not say by whom. It corresponds 
closely to F except at the close, where instead of the last three stanzas 
of F appear the following— taken, as Dr. Brown has noted on the 
manuscript, from 'The House Carpenter' (i.e., 'James Hams') : a strik- 
ing example of the way in which ballad elements may be shifted about. 

II 'I'm not a-weepin' fur your silver er your gold 
Er either fur your store ; 
I'm just a-weepin' fur my sweet little babe 
That I never shall see no more. 



^2 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

12 She had not been on sea three months, 
I'm sure it was not four, 

Until there sprung a leak in her true love's ship 
And sunk it to rise no more. 

13 'A curse, a curse on all seamen, 
A curse forever more. 

For you have robbed me of my house carpenter 
That I never shall see any more. 



4 

The Two Sisters 
(Child 10) 

For the range of this story in other lands and tongues, see 
Child's headnote; for its occurrence in Great Britain and America 
since Child's time, consult BSM 16-17 and add to the list there given 
Vermont (NGMS 3-4), Tennessee (BTFLS viii 71), North Caro- 
lina (FSRA 13), Florida (SFLQ viii 138-9), Arkansas (OFS i 
50-2, 53-5, 59-60, 63), Missouri (OFS i 52-3, 55-8, 60-2), Ohio 
(BSO 17-8), Indiana (BSI 42-50), and Michigan (BSSM 32-4). 
Mr. Paul G. Brewster, who has made an intensive study (as yet 
unpublished) of this ballad, believes that, as ballad, it is definitely 
Scandinavian in origin, starting in Norway some time before the 
seventeenth century and spreading to Sweden, Denmark, the Faeroes 
(and thence to Iceland), Scodand, England, and America; and that 
the corresponding folk tale tradition is Slavic, probably Polish. 
The "singing bones" — the revelation of the crime by a fiddle made 
from the dead girl's body — have almost entirely vanished from 
American texts, but a trace of them is preserved in our version C. 
All but one of the versions in our collection belong to the common 
American tradition, marked by the "bow down" refrain. 

A V' 
'The Two Sisters.' Secured by Professor E. L. Starr of Salem College 
from an unnamed informant and sent to Dr. Brown in 1915. The inter- 
calated refrain runs without change through all the stanzas. "Knight" 
is marked as a variant reading for "Squire" in stanza 2. 

1 There was a man lived in the west 
Bow down, bow down 

There was a man lived in the west 
Bow once to me 

There was a man lived in the west, 
He had two daughters of the best. 
I will be true, true to my love. 
And my love will be true to me. 

2 A Squire he courted the eldest one, 
But he loved the youngest one. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH ^^ 

3 He gave the youngest a gay gold ring 
And to the eldest gave not a thing. 

4 He gave the youngest a satin cap ; 
The eldest she got mad at that. 

5 One day as they walked by the river side 

They sat at the bank and they cried and they cried. 

6 The eldest she pushed the youngest in ; 
The youngest said it was a sin. 

7 She swam till she came to the miller's pond. 
And there she swam all around and around. 

8 'O miller, miller, save my life, 
And I will be your loving wife.' 

9 The miller threw in his hook and line 
And pulled her out by the hair so fine. 

10 The hook and the line were laid on the shelf — 
If you want any more, why, sing it yourself. 

B y 

'Old Man from the North Countree.' Contributed by Otis S. Kuyken- 
dall of Asheville in 1939. The intercalated refrain and repeat line run 
through all the stanzas without change. 

1 There was an old man from the North Countree 
Bow down 

There was an old man from the North Countree 

Bow down and balance me 

There was an old man from the North Countree, 

He had daughters one, two, three. 

I'll be true to you, my love, if you'll be true to me. 

2 He bought the youngest a silken hat ; 
The eldest daughter couldn't stand that. 

3 They walked down to the water's brink. 
The eldest pushed the youngest in. 

4 She floated down to the miller's dam. 
The miller pulled her to dry ground, 

5 From her hands he took five rings, 
And then he pushed her in again. 

6 They hung the miller on the gallows high ; 
The eldest daughter hung near by. 



34 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

C ' 

'The Two Sisters.' Mrs. Sutton got this from the singing of Mrs. 
Rebecca Gordon of Cat's Head on Saluda Mountain, who also sang for 
her 'The Earl of Murray' (Child i8i) ; see p. i6o below. This version 
is remarkable in two ways; it is the only version found in America, so 
far as I can learn, that uses the "Edinboro" refrain, and it preserves, 
what is almost as rare in American versions, something of that feature 
which Child thought was the essential core of the story, the revelation 
of the crime through a part of the dead girl's body — in the older versions 
some of her bones as well as her hair, but here merely her hair. The 
"Edinboro" refrain is found in Child's B (from two of Mrs. Brown of 
Falkland's manuscripts), D (from Kinloch's manuscripts), and E (from 
Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe's Ballad Book)— all excellent versions. 

1 There were two sisters in a bower, 

Edinboro, Edinboro, 
There were two sisters in a bower, 
There came a boy to be their love. 

Edinboro town 

2 He courted the oldest with a ring, 

But loved the youngest above everything. 

3 He courted the oldest to be his wife, 
But loved the youngest as his life. 

4 Upon one morning bright and clear 
The oldest called to her sister dear, 

5 And took her down to the old mill stream 
And with her hands she pushed her in. 

6 'Your rosy cheeks and yellow hair 
Have stole my love for evermore.' 

7 Sometimes she sunk, sometimes she swam. 
Till she came down to the old mill dam. 

8 The miller raised the flood gates up 
And pulled the drowned lady out. 

9 You couldn't see her golden hair 
For jewels fine that were so rare. 

10 You couldn't see her fingers white 
For golden rings she wore on them. 

11 He took three strands of her yellow hair 
And with them strung his fiddle rare. 

12 The first tune that it did sing 
Was 'Farewell to my father king.' 

13 The second tune that it did sing 
Was 'My sister Ellen drowned me.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 35 

D ' 

A single stanza, in Dr. Brown's hand, probably taken down from some 
student's recitation. The refrain varies slightly from that in A and that 
in B, but is still basically the same. 

Two little sisters living in the west 

Sing a dinii. sing a day 
Two little sisters living in the west 

The boys all bound for me 
Two little sisters living in the west, 
The young man loved the younger best. 

And ril be true to my true love 

Because she's true to me. 



No title. One of the songs secured by Professors W. Amos Abrams 
and Gratis D. Williams, of Appalachian State Teachers College, from 
the singing of Pat Frye of East Bend, Yadkin county, in 1945. See 
headnote to 'Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight' G. It is a reduced ver- 
sion ; marked by the contributors "incomplete." 

1 As we war walking along the sea brim 

Bow down 
As we war walking along the sea brim 

A bow to bend to me 
As we were walking along the sea brim 
The oldest pushed the youngest in. 

Prove true, true to my love, prove true to me. 

2 'Oh miller, oh miller, yonner swims a swan 
I believe in my soul 'tis sister Kate.' 

3 The miller was hung along the mill gate. 
For drownding of my sister Kate. 

There is in the Gollection an anonymous fragment, the first stanza with 
the customary "bow down" lefrain, which is described as "sung on the 
Michigan log-rafts." 



The Cruel Brother 
(Child II) 

Although not very old, at least by the record (the earliest re- 
corded text is Child's G, from Herd's Scottish Songs, 1776), The 
Cruel Brother' was widely known in the earlier nineteenth century; 
Child has eleven versions (some of them fragmentary), mostly 
Scotch but including two from Ireland and one from the west of 
England, where it was "popular among the peasantry" about 1846. 
But it is disappearing. It is included in Christie's Traditional 



36 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Ballad Airs and in Kidson's Garland of English Folk Songs but 
not in either of Greig's collections nor in the Journal of the Folk- 
Song Society. In this country it has been reported only twice: 
by Barry (JAFL xxviii 300-1) from someone in Boston in whose 
family it had been "traditional for three generations," and by 
Sharp from North Carolina (SharpK i 36-7). Both of these be- 
long to the same tradition, which is — to judge from the refrain — 
that of Child's J, from Ireland, though possibly from the Scotch 
or West of England forms. There are three sisters and three 
wooers in all the American texts, as there are also in Child's 
F, G, I, J. K ; presumably simply because ballad singers are fond 
of series of three, for only one lady and one wooer are of sig- 
nificance in the story. There are two texts in the present collection, 
both secured by Mrs. Sutton in the mountain country of western 
North Carolina. 

A V 
'Oh Lily O.' From the singing of "Granny" Houston of Bushy Creek 
in Avery county, "a doctor-woman as well as a ballad singer," says Mrs. 
Sutton ; "signs of her profession of doctor-woman hung all around her 
cabin walls" and she was "furiously indignant over a tonsil clinic that 
the State was holding over at the county seat." From Mrs. Sutton's 
description one gathers that she was of Irish extraction. 

1 There were three sisters playing at ball 

Oh Lily O 
There were three lawyesr courting them all, 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

2 The first to come was dressed in red, 

Oh Lily O 
He asked if she would he his bride, 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

3 The next to come was dressed in bltie. 

Oh Lily O 
Saying 'Oh my sweet, I've come for you,' 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

4 'Oh, you must ask my father dear,' 

Oh Lily O 
'And you must ask my mother, too,' 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

5 Oh, I have asked your father dear,' 

Oh Lily O 
'And I have asked your mother, too,' 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

6 'Oh, you must ask my sister Ann,' 

Oh Lily O 
'And you must ask my brother John,' 
Lily O, sweet hi O 



{) L I) K R n A L I, A I) S — MOSTLY H R I T I S II 

7 'Oh, 1 have asked your sister Ann,' 

Oh Lily O 
'Your brother John I did forget,' 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

8 Her father led her down the steps, 

Oh Lily O 
Her mother led her to the gate, 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

9 Her sister led her through the close, 

Oh Lily O 
Her brother put her on the horse, 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

10 He took a pen knife long and sharp, 

Oh Lily O 
He stobbed his sister through the heart, 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

11 'Oh, lead me gently up the hill, 

Oh Lily O 
'And I'll sit down and make my will,' 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

12 'Oh, what will you leave to your modier dear?' 

Oh Lily O 
'My velvet dress and golden gear,' 
Lily O, sweet hi O 

13 'What will you leave to your sister Ann?* 

Oh Lily O 
'My silver ring and golden fan.' 
Lily O. sweet hi O 

14 'What will you leave to your brother John?' 

Oh Lily O 
'The gallows tree to hang him on.' 
Lily O, sweet hi O 



'Lily O.' From the singing of Mrs. Becky Gordon, Saluda Mountain, 
Henderson county, July 1928. Mrs. Gordon "sings every song I have 
been able to collect heretofore, and then some," Mrs. Sutton wrote to 
Dr. Brown. A fuller and more coherent version than \. The "block" 
of stanza 9, from which to mount a horse, is. I believe, American ; it 
appears in no other version. The refrain is the same. 

I There were three sisters a-playin' of ball, 
O Lily O 
There were three lawyesrs a-courtin' them all. 
Lily O, sweet hi O 



38 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 The first one come were dressed in white, 
The next one came were dressed in black. 

3 The next one come were dressed in blue, 
Sayin', 'Now, my dear, I've come for you.' 

4 'Oh, you must ask my father dear, 
You must ask my mother too. 

5 'You must ask my sister Ann, 

And you must ask my brother John.' 

6 'I have asked your father dear. 
And I have asked your mother too ; 

7 'And I have asked your sister Ann ; 
Your brother John I did forget.' 

8 Her father led her down the stairs, 
Her mother led her to the gate. 

9 Her sister Ann went to the block, 
Her brother John for to help her up. 

10 As she stooped down to kiss him sweet. 
And with his knife he stobbed her deep. 

11 'Ride on, ride on, my daughter dear.' 
'No, I must lie and bleed and die.' 

12 'Oh, what do you will to your father dear?' 
'My house and home that I leave here.' 

13 'And what do you will to your mother dear?' 
'My bloody clothes that I leave here.' 

14 'And what do you leave to your sister Ann?' 
'My silver rings and golden fan.' 

15 'Oh, what do you will to your brother John?' 
'A rope and gallows to hang him on.' 

16 'What do you will to your brother John's wife?' 
'Pain and sorrow all her life.' 

17 'What do you will to your brother John's child?' 
'All this wide world to spend its life.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 39 



Lord Randal 
(Child 12) 

Though not old, at least in English, Lord Randal is very widely 
known and sung; see BSM 24-5, and add to the references there 
given Cumberland (ETSC 96-9), Massachusetts (FSONE 191-3), 
North Carolina (FSRA 14), Tennessee (SFLQ xi 120-1), Florida 
(FSF 247-8), Arkansas (OFS i 64), Missouri (OFS i 64-7), 
Indiana (BSI 51-2), and Michigan (BSSM 35-6). There are four 
texts in the present collection. 

A y 
'Tiranti, My Son.' Contributed by Miss Amy Henderson, of Worry, 
Burke county, in 1914. The name "Tiranti" (more often spelled 
"Tyranty") is interesting because otherwise it is restricted to the New 
England tradition of the ballad. That the poisoner is the grandmother 
instead of the sweetheart is unusual but not unexampled, being found in 
Child I (from New England) and K (from Scotland). "Faint to" in 
the refrain is of course a misunderstanding of "fain to." 

1 'Where have you been to, Tiranti, my son? 
Where have you been to, my sweet little one?' 

'I've been to grandmother's; mother, make my bed soon, 
I am sick at my heart and faint to lie down.' 

2 'What did you have for your supper, Tiranti, my son ? 
What did you have for your supper, my sweet little one?' 
'Eels fried in soap-grease; mother, make my bed soon. 
I'm sick at my heart and faint to lie down.' 

3 'W^hat'l! you leave to your father, Tiranti, my son? 
What'll you leave to your father, my sweet little one?' 
'My houses and land ; mother, make my bed soon, 

I'm sick at my heart and faint to lie down.' 

4 'What'll you leave to your mother, Tiranti, my son? 
What'll you leave to your mother, my sweet little one?' 
'My jewels and silver; mother, make my bed soon, 

I'm sick at my heart and faint to lie down.' 

5 'W'hat will you leave to your grandmother, Tiranti, my 

son? 
What will you leave to your grandmother, my sweet little 

one?' 
*A halter to hang her ; mother, make my bed soon, 
I am sick at my heart and am faint to lie down.' 



'Lord Randall.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton, but without notation of time 
or place or singer. The stanza structure is as in A ; it is given here 
only for the first stanza, but the repeats are the same throughout. 



40 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 'Oh, where have you been, Lord Randall, my son? 
Oh, where have you been, my handsome young man?' 

*I have been to the greenwood ; mother, make my bed soon, 
For I'm weary with hunting and I want to lie down.' 

2 'Who cooked you your dinner?' 
'My true love she cooked it.' 

3 'What had you for dinner? 
'Eels fried in fresh butter.' 

4 'She'«s fed you snake poison.' 
'Oh, yes, I am dyin'.' 

5 'What leave you your mother?' 
'My lands and my houses.' 

6 'What leave you your brother ?' 
'My hounds and my horses.' 

7 'What leave you your true love?' 
'A rope for to hang her.' 



'Willie Ransome.' Another text contributed by Mrs. Sutton, this time 
from the singing of Myra Barnett (Mrs. J. J. Miller) of Caldwell 
county in 1928. Observe that here there is no mention of the sweet- 
heart until the last stanza. The stanza structure is as in A and B ; 
given here only for the first stanza. 

1 'Where you been, Willie Ransome, Willie Ransome, my 

son? 
Where you been, W'illie Ransome, my own darling one?' 
'Been a-ramblin' and a-gamblin' ; mother, make my bed 

down, 
For Fm sick at the heart and Fd fancy lie down.' 

2 'What'd you have for your supper?' 
'Eels and eel broth.' 

3 'What d' you will to your father?' 
'My house and my home.' 

4 'What d' you will to your sister?' 
'My trunk and trunk keys.' 

5 'What d' you will to your brother ?' 
'My horn and my hounds.' 

6 'What d' you will to your sweetheart?' 
'A cup of cold p'isen.' 



O I- n K R It A I. I. A D S MOSTLY H R I T I S H 4I 



'Lord Randal.' Contributed by Mrs. R. C. Vaught ; in pencil in a child's 
hand, probably set down by one of her pupils in the school at Taylors- 
ville, Alexander county. The last four stanzas only. 

1 'What do you will your father, Lord Randal, my son? 
\^'hat do you will your father, my own dear one?' 
'My land and my living; mother, make my bed soon. 
For I am sick-hearted and fain would lie down.' 

2 'What do you will your mother ?' 
'Ten thousand gold guineas." 

3 'What do you will your brother?' 
'My coach and six horses.' 

4 'What do you will your true love?' 
'The rope and the galleries.'^ 



Edward 

(Child 13) 

Although 'Edward' in the version from which it is named stands 
at or near the head of English balladry in beauty and power, it is 
neither very old — Percy's print of 1765 is the earliest record of 
it — nor very frequent in tradition — Child knew but two versions 
and a fragment — nor, apart from the Percy and Motherwell ver- 
sions, a very notable ballad. Percy had his version. Child's B, from 
Sir David Dalrymple ; and the skill and dramatic power of its 
structure, especially its revelation of the whole meaning of the 
story in the final stanza, has occasioned doubt of its being really a 
"popular," i.e., a folk ballad, at least in this version. ^ The only 
record of it in modern England is in the Journal of the English 
Folk Dance and Song Society iii (1938) 205-6, where Miss A. G. 

^ For "gallows," of course. Probably a child's confusion of the two 
words. 



* Professor Archer Taylor, Edward mid Svcn i Roscngaard ( Univer- 
sity of Chicago Press, 1931), has analyzed all the versions — English, 
Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and American — and concludes 
that the Percy-Dalrymple form is not the original form, though he 
thinks that the ballad originated in Britain and traveled to Scandinavia. 
Later, Professor Bertrand H. Bronson (SFLQ iv [1940] 1-13 and 159- 
61 ) argues with considerable force that the Percy version is a form of 
conscious art, especially in its climax, where it is revealed that the 
murder was devised by the mother. To these it might be added that in 
no other version is it the father that has been killed ; commonly it is a 
brother, and frequently on no other provocation than his having cut 
down a bush. The Scandinavian texts are numerous but generally late; 
Olrik mentions a "comic" text in a manuscript of the 1640's and a 
parody of it printed as a broadside in 1794, but the other Scandinavian 
texts were taken down in the nineteenth century. 



42 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Gilchrist gives a seven-stanza text as sung in a Cheshire "Soul- 
Caking," that is, the Cheshire form of the St. George mumming. 
In this country it has been found in Virginia (TBV 120-9, SharpK 
I 50-2, SCSM 183-4), Tennessee (SharpK i 47-8), North Carolina 
(SharpK 1 46-7, 49, 53), South Carolina (SCSM 181-2), Florida 
(FSF 248-50), Mississippi (FSM 70-2), Texas (in a release of the 
University of Texas News Service dated March 24 [1941?]), the 
Ozarks (OMF 207-8, OFS i 124-6), Ohio (BSD 23-4), and Cali- 
fornia (CFLQ V 310-11 ). Most of the texts, both from the English- 
speaking and from the Scandinavian countries, end with a series of 
bequests, a feature which this ballad shares with 'Lord Randal,' 
'The Two Brothers,' and 'Lizzie Wan.' Many texts, the Scandi- 
navian especially, have various ways of saying "never" when the 
son is asked when he will return from exile — or death. 

A / 
'Edward.' Contributed by Professor Fletcher Collins, Jr., of Elon Col- 
lege, Alamance county, in 1941 and printed here with his permission. 

1 'Hovi^ comes that blood all over your shirt? 
My son, come tell it to me.' 

'It is the blood of my little guinea pig — 
O mother, please let me be. 
It is the blood of my little guinea pig — 
Oh mother, please let me be.' 

2 'Your guinea pig's blood is not so red. 
My son, come tell it to me.' 

'It is the blood of my little hunting dog 
That played in the field for me. 
It is the blood of my little hunting dog 
That played in the field for me.' 

3 'Your dog lies yonder, O my son, 
And this it could not be.' 

'It is the blood of my old roan horse 
That pulled the plow for me. 
It is the blood of my old roan horse 
That pulled the plow for me.' 

4 'How come that blood all over your shirt? 
My son, you must tell to me.' 

'It is the blood of my little brother Bill 
Who I killed in the field today. 
It is the blood of my little brother Bill 
Who I killed in the field today. 

5 'And what will you do when your father comes home ? 
My son, come tell it to me.' 

'I'll put my feet in the bottom of a boat 



OLDER UALLAUS — MOSTLY BRITISH 43 

I'll put my feet in the bottom of a boat 
And sail across the sea. 
And sail across the sea.' 

B ^ 

'Dear Son.' Contributed by Miss Jewell Robbins (later Mrs. C. P. 
Perdue) of Pekin, Montgomery county, some time before 1925, from 
her manuscript collection of songs. 

1 'Dear son, dear son, come tell to me, 
What did you kill your brother for?' 
'He cutted down that hazel-nut bush 
That once would 'a' made a tree.' 

2 'Dear son, dear son, come tell to me, 
What will you do with your children three ?' 
'I'm going to leave them to bear you company 
Till I sail over the sea.' 

3 'Dear son, dear son, come tell to me, 
What will you do with your wife?' 

'I'm going to take her on yonders big ship 
To bear me company.' 

c ^ 
No title. One of the songs collected in the summer of 1945 by Pro- 
fessors W. Amos Abrams and Gratis D. Williams from Pat Frye of 
East Branch, Yadkin county. See the headnote to 'Lady Isabel and the 
Elf-Knight' G. 

1 '. . . blood is that on your knife? 

My youngest son, come tell this to me.' 
'It is the blood of my old horse 
Who's plowed the fields for me me me, 
Who's plowed the fields for me.' 

2 'It is too red for ye^ old horse's blood. 
IMy youngest son, come tell this to me.' 
'It is the blood of my old dog 

Who runs the deer for me me me. 
Who runs the deer for me.' 

3 'It is too red for ye^ old dog's blood. 
My youngest son, come tell this to me.' 
'It is the blood of my little brother 
Who's walked the roads with me me me, 

Who's walked the roads with me.' 

4 'What did you and your little brother fall out about? 
My youngest son, come tell this to me.' 

^ So the manuscript. Probably meant to give Frye's pronunciation 
of "your." 



44 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'For cutting down my haze^ nut bush, 
Which might 'a' made a tree tree tree, 
Which might 'a' made a tree.' 

5 'What will you do when your father finds it out? 
My youngest son, come tell this to me.' 

'I'll step my foot in yonders boat 
And sail across the sea sea sea. 
And sail across the sea.' 

6 'When will you ever return back i 
My youngest son, come tell this to me.' 

And there the text as reported ends. Whether Frye was tired of sing- 
ing it or the reporters simply forgot to finish this last stanza the editor 
does not know. 

8 

Babylon; or, The Bonnie Banks o Fordie 
(Child 14) 

This ballad, like 'Edward,' is found both in Scotland and in 
Scandinavia ; in Scotland in the latter part of the eighteenth and 
the earlier part of the nineteenth century, in Scandinavia at die 
same time and also somewhat earlier. Since Child's time it has been 
found but seldom, and more often in America than in the old coun- 
try; in Newfoundland, Maine, and Vermont (see Barry's note. 
BFSSNE VII 6), in Virginia (FSV 9), and in Tennessee (BTFLS 
VIII 69-70). It has been found once in North Carolina. ^ 

'Baby Lon.' Found by Mrs. R. C. Vaught at Oakboro, Stanly county, 
in 1935 ; she does not now remember from whom she got it, but prob- 
ably from one of her pupils in the school there. Why there are three 
lines in the first stanza but only two in the others does not appear. 

1 There were once three ladies in a bower 
Who went out one sunny day 

To gather the summer flowers. 

2 They hadn't picked but one flower each 
When they spied a young man by their side. 

3 He['s] taken the oldest one by her hand. 
He's put her on a bank and made her stand. 

4 'Just hear ; will you be my wife. 

Or will you die by my keen, sharp knife?' 

* Here again probably an attempt to indicate Frye's clipped utterance 
of "hazel." 

^ There are in the Collection two other copies of the ballad, l)ut they 
seem to be merely writings out of Child's A version and are tlicrefore 
not presented here. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 45 

5 'Oil, sister, sister, he's taking my life. 

For I'm going to have to die by his keen, sharji knife!' 

6 He['s] taken her and put her to bed, 

To seek for the love[d] ones gone on ahead. 

7 He's taken the next one by her hand, 

He's put [her] on the bank and there made her stand. 

8 'Now Hsten, will you be my wife. 

Or will you die by my keen, sharp knife?' 

9 'Oh. sister, sister, I'll not be his wife. 
But rather die by his keen, sharp knife.' 

10 He's taken her and put her to bed, 

To see the love[d] ones who have gone ahead. 

11 He's taken the youngest one by her hand. 

He's put her on the bank and there made her stand. 

12 He says, 'Will you be my wife, 

Or will you die by my keen, sharp knife?' 

13 'I will not be your wife. 

Nor will I die by your keen, sharp knife. 

14 'For I have a dear one near by. 

And if you kill me, he'll sure kill thee.' 

15 'Who is thy dear one? Pray tell to me.' 
'Do you not know him? It is dear Baby Lon.' 

16 'Oh, is this my sister? Come, tell me true. 
And I have killed my older sisters, too?' 

17 'You have killed them, dear brother. 
This evil, bad evil I have seen you do.' 

18 'God in heaven won't forgive me. 

But he true^ till at judgment we meet thee. 

19 'Then our evil deeds done here, 
Will be placed on us up there.' 

20 He['s] taken his keen, sharp knife 

An enticed his heart to be nobody's wife.-'' 

'^ I do not know how this line should run. Should "he" be read "he"? 
' Just how this last line is to be construed is not apparent, but pre- 
sumably it means that he stabbed himself. 



46 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



The Three Ravens 
(Child 26) 

The familiar American song of the 'Three Black Crows* is no 
doubt descended from the song of the three ravens that Child found 
in the 161 1 Melismata, but it has altogether lost the human interest 
of that delightful bit of restrained tragedy. The currency of the 
American song Kittredge (JAFL xxxi 273) ascribes to its vogue 
on the minstrel stage in the last century. For its occurrence as 
traditional song, see BSM 31-2 and add to the references there 
given New Hampshire (FSONE 289), North Carolina (FSRA 
15-16), Florida (FSF 254), Missouri (OFS i 75-6), and Indiana 
(BSI 53-4). The only representative of it in the present collection 
is the two stanzas given below — which, it may be noted, lack the 
familiar "Biddy McGee McGaw" refrain. Traditional rhymes about 
the crow as stealer of corn are dealt with under "Animal Jingles" 
in volume III. 

'Three Black Crows.' Set down by K. P. Lewis in 1910 from the 
singing of Dr Kemp P. Battle of Chapel Hill. 

There were three crows sat on a tree, 
And they were as black as black could be. 
Said one old crow unto his mate, 
'What shall we do for bread to eat?' 

'There lies a horse on yonder plain 
Who was by cruel butcher slain ; 
We'll perch upon his bare backbone 
And pick his eyes out one by one.' 



Thomas Rymer 
(Child 37) 

Of this ballad, which goes back to a fifteenth-century romance 
and that in turn to a real person of the thirteenth century, one 
Thomas of Erceldoune, Child knew five texts, none of them going 
further back than the latter part of the eighteenth century. Since 
then it appears to have pretty much vanished from the old country; 
the only recent record of it that I have found is 'Sir John Gordon,' 
which Ord prints (Bothy Songs 422-5) from a Scottish newspaper 
to which it had been sent by the headmaster of Gordon Schools, 
who collected such matter from old residents of the district some 
thirty years before the publication of Ord's book. The North 
Carolina text is unique, so far as is known, in America. It has 
suffered a good deal in its passage down the years ; compare any 
of the Child texts. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH \J 

'True Thomas.' Secured by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of Mrs. 
Becky Gordon of Cat's Head, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Henderson county, 
Mrs. Gordon was one of Mrs. Sutton's most fully stocked singers. 

1 True Thomas lay on yonder hill 
And saw a lady gay, 

A lady that was bright and fair, 
Come riding down the way. 

2 Her dress was of the grass-green silk, 
Her cloak was velvet fine, 

And her horse's bridle was silver gay 
And trimmed with gold so fine. 

3 She turned her milk-white steed about 
And took him up behind ; 

And when she spurred her horse's side 
They flew on like the wind. 

4 On they rode and on they rode 
Till they came to a garden green. 
'Light down, light down, True Thomas, 
And pull that fruit for me.' 

5 He ate the fruit of that green tree. 
Laid his head on the lady's knee. 
'Stay still, True Thomas,' the lady said, 
'And I'll show you fairies three.' 

6 He got him a coat of the velvet cloth 
And shoes of silver so gay. 

And seven long years were passed and gone 
Before he returned this way. 



The Wee, Wee Man 
(Child 38) 

Child has seven versions of this ballad, all rather closely alike 
and all from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. Since 
that time I find no trace of it until it appears in the present col- 
lection. That the North Carolina text is a version of Child 38 
there can be no doubt, though it is modernized here and there in 
an interesting way, e.g., in stanzas 2 and 7. 

No title. Sung by Saunders of Salem, Forsyth county. The 

manuscript bears no date. 



I Oh, I went walking one fine day 
Upon the Gomont pier O. 
I saw a little fairy man 
No bigger than my ear O. 



48 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 He wore a coat all gold and green, 
No bigger than a thimble, 

But he was strong as any buck 
Like a gandy dancer^ nimble. 

3 I took him up and I set him down 
And I put him on my knee. 

And then he threw a mitched^ stone 
As far as I could see. 

4 I told him he was a fine, brave man 
And as strong as he could be. 

And he said to me, 'My bucko lad, 
Come you along with me.' 

5 So I went his way along the lane ; 
And soon we found a castle, 

And a fine naked ladd^ came out 
To see if I would rassle. 

("One stanza Mr. S. censored here, a description of the girl's physical 
qualities. He didn't know me well enough." Note on the manuscript.) 

7 She was the gayest wench for bed 
I ever saw in all my life ; 

If Elder Thomson^ had been there 
She could have been his wife. 

8 We lay in a bed all covered with pearl, 
And I did often kiss her. 

And now at night alone in my bunk 
I surely do miss her. 

9 When I woke up and found her gone 
I knew I could not stay. 

So I spied around for my little man ; 
But he had gone away. 



12 

Captain Wedderburn's Courtship 
(Child 46) 

Of this riddling ballad of courtship nothing is left in our col- 
lection but the riddles, and not all of them; the story of the court- 

^ A gandy dancer, according to Weseen's Dictionary of American 
Slang and Berrey and Van den Bark's American Thesaurus of Slang, 
is a railroad section hand. The phrase is not entered in NED or DAE. 

* Miswritten or misheard, presumably, for "mickle. ' 

'What follows indicates that "ladd" is miswritten for "lady." 

* In this line Child's versions A-K have "the king of Scotland." 
Elder Thomson seems to be an American figure. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 49 

sliip has fadeil away. Jhe "perri-merri-dictum doniine" refrain 

that usually goes with this set of riddles but does not belong to 

'Captain Wedderburn's Courtship' does not appear in these North 
Carolina texts. 

A 
'The Riddle Song.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton as sung by "a young 
girl who worked in a mica mill and had lived on the long, picturesque 
ridge above the Toe River \ alley all her life. She didn't recall whom 
she heard sing it first." 

1 I gave my love a cherry that had no stone, 
I gave my love a chicken that had no bone, 
1 gave my love a ring that had no end. 
Oh, I gave my love a baby with no crying. 

2 Now where is there a cherry that has no stone? 
And where is there a chicken that has no bone? 
And where is there a ring that has no end? 

Oh, who has seen a baby with no crying? 

3 Oh, when a cherry's budding it has no stone. 
And when a chicken's pipping it has no bone, 
And when a ring's a-rolling it has no end, 
Oh, when a bal)y's slee])ing there's no crying. 



'I Gave My Love a Cherry.' From the manuscript of Obadiah John- 
son, Crossnore, Avery county, obtained in July 1940. The same set of 
riddles as in A, without A's misplacing of the opening line, and with 
"blooming" for "budding" in stanza 3. 

13 

The Two Brothers 
(Child 49) 

Another of the ballads that are better preserved in America 
than in Great Britain. For its range see BSM 33, and add to the 
references there given Massachusetts (FSONE 278-80), North 
Carolina (FSRA 17), Tennessee (SFLQ 11 66), Florida (SFLQ 
VIII 141-2), Arkansas (OFS i 76-7, 79-80), Missouri (OFS i 
77-8), Ohio (BSO 26-8), Indiana (BSI 55-7), and Wisconsin 
(JAFL Lii 35). It is not clear from the text given below whether 
the killing is accidental or intentional. 

'Two Little Boys Going to School.' Contributed, probably in 1923, by 
Mildred Peterson from Bladen county. 

I Two little boys a-going to school. 
Two little boys they be. 



50 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Two little boys a-going to school 
To learn their A-B-C. 

2 One says, 'Johnnie, will you toss a ball? 
Or will you throw a stone? 

Or will you wrastle along with me 
As we are going home ?' 

3 'Oh, no,' says Johnnie, 'I'll not toss a ball, 
Nor either throw a stone ; 

But I will wrastle along with you 
As we are going home.' 

4 So they wrastled up and they wrastled down 
And they wrastled all around ; 

A little p>en-knife ran in Johnnie's heart, 
Which gave a deadly wound. 

5 'Oh, pick me up, my dearest little brother, 
And carry me to yonder tree. 

There I may lie, there I may die ; 
Contented I shall be.' 



14 

Young Beichan 

(Child 53) 

It has been suggested that the frequent and widespread occurrence 
of this ballad as traditional song may be due to its frequent appear- 
ance in broadside and songbook print (for which see Barry, BBM 
106-22, and especially Kittredge's bibliographical note, JAFL xxx 
294-7). The argument may easily, however, be turned the other 
way: that ballad printers used it because it was known to be a 
favorite. Cause and effect are not easily distinguished in such 
cases. There is at least no question that it is a favorite. It has 
been reported as traditional song in recent times in Scotland (LL 
40-2), Northamptonshire (ECS 62-3), Lincolnshire (JFSS iii 
192-9), Wiltshire and Hampshire (FSUT 147-9; Williams says it is 
"common to the whole of the Thames Valley"), Sussex (Sharp's 
Folk-Songs of England v 32-3), Somerset (FSSom no. 65), even, 
the tune at least, in the Isle of Man (JFSS vii 315) ; and on this side 
of the water in the Bahamas (JAFL xli 585-8), Newfoundland 
(FSN 88-92, BSSN 17), Nova Scotia (BSSNS 16-19), Maine 
(BBM 106-22), Vermont (VFSB 204-8), Pennsvlvania (JAFL 
XXIII 450-1), Virginia (TBV 158-71, SharpK i 87, SCSM 212-13), 
West Virginia (FSS 36-41), Kentucky (JAFL xx 251-2, xxii 64-5, 
SharpK i 79-80, 83-6, 87, 88, LT 58-61, DD 86-7), Tennessee 
(SharpK i 81-3. 86, FSSH 55-9, BTFLS viii 68-9), North Caro- 
lina (JAFL xxviii 149-51, SharpK i 77-9, 80-1, FSRA 18-20), 
South Carolina (SCB 104-6), Mississippi (FSM 75-6), Florida 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 5I 

(SFLQ VIII 144-6), the Ozarks (OMF 197-201, OFS i 83-8), 
Ohio (BSO 28-9), Michigan (BSSM 143-5), and Nebraska (ABS 
53-6, really from Indiana). 

There are certain interesting variations among these many texts. 
Kittredge, in the note above referred to, remarks that some of the 
American texts differ from the broadsides in retaining a detail of 
the Turks' barbarous cruelty : a hole is bored in Beichan's shoulder 
bv means of which he is harnessed and becomes a draft-animal. 
Thus in Child A : 

For thro his shoulder he put a bore. 
An thro the bore has pitten a tree, 
An he's gard him draw the carts o wine. 
Where liorse and oxen had wont to be. 

Similarly in B D E H I N. The word "tree" here means "draught- 
tree," the pole of a wagon or cart by which it is attached to the 
draft animal. "Tree" in this sense was apparently not an acceptable 
locution, was not understood in America ; Henry's Tennessee text 
and our version E change it to "key," two of the West Virginia 
texts and the only text in TBV that retains this feature change the 
word to "rope" and the other West Virginia text to "string." Other 
American texts that keep the word change the meaning; the "tree" 
is now that to which the captive is tied (chained, nailed, bound, 
fastened, sometimes around his middle), giving a quite different 
picture. So BBM D, TBV E, SharpK A E, JAFL xxviii 150, 
XXX 295, and our A version. Some of the texts have in the closing 
scene what seems to be a reference to the heroine's baptism, most 
definitely in Child A : 

He's take his bonny love by the han, 

And led her to yon fountain stane ; 

He's changed her name frae Shusy Pye, 

An he's cald her his bonny love, Lady Jane. 

Some of the American texts, both from the North and from the 
South, retain the feature of the change of name, but I judge that 
in each instance it is understood of a change of name by marriage, 
not by christening. Finally, certain of the American texts make 
the heroine declare her love with an un-American frankness. 
When the prisoner offers wealth and position to the lady if she 
will free him from his bonds, she tells him that all she wants is 
his "fair body." This locution is found in none of the Child texts; 
but it is in Coverly's Boston broadside, in The Forget-Me-Not 
Songster, and in traditional texts from Nova Scotia, Maine, Ver- 
mont, Virginia, and North Carolina (though not in any of the 
texts in our collection). Whether the innovation originates with 
Coverly is not clear, but it is contrary to the general American 
mores to express desire so simply. 

Our collection has six texts of Young Beichan. 



'Lord Beham.' From the John Bell Henneman collection, the North 
Carolina part of which came into the possession of the North Carolina 



52 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Folklore Society through Professor C. Alphonso Smith of the Univer- 
sity of Virginia. Presumably this, like the other North Carolina items 
in the Henneman collection, came from the singing of Mrs. Simpkins, 
but the manuscript does not say so. In the manuscript it is not divided 
into stanzas, but since much of it is clearly stanzaic I have attempted 
such division. The marginal notes are from the manuscript; the 
punctuation is the editor's. One suspects mishearing, or miswriting, in 
the matter of the Turkish lady's name. In most texts her name is Susy 
Pye ; sometimes Susanna, less often Sophia. 

1 Lord Beham was a gentleman, 
A gentleman of high degree. 

He put his foot on yon footboardings, 
Saying, 'Some foreign land I will go see.' 

2 He sailed east, he sailed west, 
He sailed towards the north ; 
There he fell among the Turks ; 
They taken him as a slave. 

3 In his right shoulder they bored a hole 
And into that they put a tree ; 

They bound him down in prison strong, 
Quite weary of his life to be. 

4 The old Turkish priest had but one daughter 

At night she goes and steals the keys, 
Saying, 'Lord Beham I will go and see. 

5 'Have you land or have you livings? 
Have you a castle of high degree? 
What will you give one lady fair 

If out of the prison she will set you clair?' 

6 'Yes, I have lands and I have livings, 
I have a castle of high degree ; 

I will give it all to one lady fair. 
If out of prison she will me clair.' 

7 She took him to her father's castle, 
She treated him on the best of beer. 

And every merry health she'd drink to him, 
'Lord Beham, you're a gentleman,' 
And every merry health she'd drink to him, 
'Lord Beham, I wish you were mine.' 

8 A gold ring then was broke betwixt 'em : 

At seven long years Susifie will cross the sea. [5"».yy Fyr 

9 She carried him down to her father's harbour. 
She put him aboard her father's ship : 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 53 

'Farewell, farewell, my own heart's joy ! 
You I fear I shall no more see.' 

10 Long seven years come and past over. 

1 1 Lord Beham carried his new bride home. 
And Susifie she crossed the sea. 

She came into the city 

Enquiring for Lord Beham's dwelling. 

12 'Yes, this is Lord Beham's dwelling; 
He's just carried his new bride home.' 

13 'Tell him to send me a piece of bread 
And a bottle of beer. 

Ask him if he'd forgot the lady fair 
Who out of prison set him clair." 

14 A-going into his master's dwelling 
And falling on his knees. 

'Rise up, rise up, my bold porter. 
And tell your story unto me.' 

1 5 'There is a lady at your gate, 
She is one perfect beauty ; 

She's got more gold about her waist 
Than all England can afTord.' 

16 He ris up from his new royal dinner, 
He split his table in pieces three : 
Til lay you all my lands and living 
My Susilie has crossed the sea. 

17 'Your daughter is bonny and very bonny. 
Although she's none the worse for me ; 
She came to me on a horse and saddle, 
ril send her home in coaches three.' 

18 Her mother, being very angry: 

'I wish in hell Susilie had have been [Siisifyr? 
Before she crossed the sea.' 



'The Turkish Lady.' Contributed in 1913 by Miss Edith B. Fish from 
her collection at White Rock, Madison county. The same, verbatim et 
literatim, as Perrow's text published in JAFL x.xvni 149-51 and there- 
fore not printed here. Perrow says his text is from a manuscript "lent 
E. N. Caldwell, 1913," which may mean that Miss Fish lent the manu- 
script to Caldwell at that time. 

C 

'Lord Bateman.' The first of two versions of the ballad found by Mrs. 
Sutton. This one she took down from the singing of a little girl in 



54 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

the Brushy Creek schoolhouse in Avery county in 1917. "Brushy 
Creek," Mrs. Sutton writes, "runs through a high narrow valley in the 
ridge between the Toe and Linville rivers. The little schoolhouse stood 
on a narrow flat in the ridge and was surrounded by a forest." After 
singing the ballad the little girl, a sixth-grade pupil, remarked : "He'd 
ort to 'a' knowed that she'd foller him." 

1 In London city was Bateman born. 
He longed far lands to see. 

So he was taken by a savage Turk 
Who punished him cruelly. 

2 He cast him in a dungeon deep 
Where he couldn't hear or see ; 
He shut 'him up in a prison dark 
And handled him cruelly. 

3 The Turk had but one fair child, 
As fair as she could be. 

She stole the keys to the prison dark 
And set Lord Bateman free. 

4 She said, 'Have you any house or land 
Or rents in your own country? 
Would you give it all to a lady fair 

If she would set you free?' 

5 She gave him a loaf of snow-white bread 
And a flask of Spanish wine. 

He vowed a vow to marry her ; 
T wish that she was mine.' 

6 She led him down to the salt sea. 
'Go, haste to your own country ; 
Before seven years have come and gone 
Come back and marry me.' 

7 Before seven years had come and gone 
She longed her true love to see. 

She set her foot on a sailing ship 
And started over the sea. 

8 When she got to Lord Bateman 's hall 
She jingled at the ring: 

'Oh, Lord Bateman, Lord Bateman, asleep or awake, 
Arise and let me in ! 

9 'Is this Lord Bateman's hall ?' she said, 
'Oh, is Lord Bateman in?' 

'He's in the hall, with his new bride. 
And the wedding guests with him,' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 55 

10 'Oh, he has taken another bride 
And forgotten his vows to me.' 
And then the Turkish lady said, 
'I wish I was in my own country.' 

11 'Oh, I've been a porter at your gate 
For seven years and three, 

But there's a lady out there now 
Whose like I never did see. 

12 'On every finger she has a ring, 
On the middle one she has three. 

And there's as much gold about her head 
As would buy a farm for me.' 

13 Then up and started Lord Bateman, 
And oath he swore, did he. 
Saying, 'That's my Turkish ]>rincess 
Who has crossed the sea to me.' 

14 Then quickly he ran out of the hall. 
And when he saw 'twas she 

He took his true love in his arms 
And kissed her tenderly. 

15 'Oh, have you forgotten, Lord Bateman dear. 
Oh, have you forgotten,' said she, 

'That I took you out of the dark dungeon 
And started you over the sea?' 

16 'Take home, take home your daughter dear; 
She's none the worse for me. 

For I must marry my own true love 
Who has followed me o'er the sea.' 



'Lord Bateman.' Another version found by Mrs. Sutton in Avery county. 
This was sung by Mrs. Brown, of Beech Mountain. The elements of the 
story are the same as in C, yet the language is different — so much so 
that there are scarcely two identical stanzas in the two versions. 

1 Lord Bateman sailed on the salt-salt sea 
Until he came to Turkey's shore. 
Where he was caught and placed in jail ; 
He feared he'd never travel more. 

2 The jailer had just one fair child, 
As pretty a girl as you e'er did see. 

She stole the key of Lord Bateman's cell. 
She stole the key and set him free. 



56 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 'Have you got house? Have you got land?^ 
Have you got wealth for me to see? 

Have you got anything to maintain me on 
For to keep me from slavery?^ 

4 'I've got house and I've got land^ 
And both of these I'll give to thee, 
My merry men shall you command 
If you'll only go to my countree.' 

5 She carried him down to the wharf 
And loosed a ship that rode the foam. 
Seveh dark sailor men she gave to him, 
Saying, 'Soon, my lord, you'll be at home.' 

6 When he reached his home he forgot the maid, 
Forgot the maid who saved his life ; 

He sought the hand of a neighbor girl ; 
In a little while she was his wife. 

7 The Turkish girl waited long for him 
Before she tried to cross the sea. 

At last she said, 'I'll follow him, 

My own true love, to his far country.' 

8 She traveled many a weary mile 
Before she reached Lord Bateman's door, 
Her body ached, her heart was sick, 

Her little feet was very sore. 

9 When she reached the door of his castle grand 
She jingled loudly at the bell. 

'Oh, who is that?' the young wife said, 
'Oh, who is that? I pray thee tell !' 

10 'There's a lady there,' the servant said, 
'A lady fair and richly clad. 

Your husband's name is all she speaks. 
Her voice is quare and very sad.' 

11 Lord Bateman walked thru the long, long hall 
To meet his true love at the door. 

He took her by her lily-white hand 
And bowed him down unto the floor. 

12 'My own true love has followed me 
From out a far-oflf distant land. 

^ This appears in the manuscript, both times, as "lard" — surely just 
a slip. 

' This stanza seems to have been borrowed from 'James Harris' ; at 
least it appears frequently in American texts of that ballad. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 57 

My pledged word belongs to her. 
My life and heart she does command. 

13 'You may return to your father's house, 
Ten thousand pound I'll give to thee, 
Six merry men to guard you home ; 
My own true love will marry me.' 

E 
'Susan Price.' From the manuscript songbook of Miss Edith Walker 
of Boone, Watauga county. This is the same version as that reported 
by Henry, FSSH 55-8, from Blount county, Tennessee — which is only 
a few mi'es away on the other side of the state line from Watauga 
county. This version is distinguished by deriving the hero not from 
London but from Glasgow (there is a trace of this in Kinloch's ver- 
sion. Child H, where, though Beichan is London-born in stanza 1, he 
becomes "the lord frae Scotland" in stanza 12 and "my Scottish lord" 
in stanza 18, and comes home to "Glasgow town" in stanza 20, and the 
Turkish lady comes to "the Scottish shore" in stanza 28) and by hav- 
ing Deham propose first his oldest and then his youngest brother as 
substitute before he finally agrees to marry the lady himself. .Although 
the two te.xts correspond rather closely in the main, there are variations 
that make it worth while to record Miss Walker's te.xt here. In the 
manuscript it is written as couplets, but the rhyme shows that it is 
really in quatrains and I have so printed it. 

1 Young Deham from Glasgow is gone 
All the Turks for to see. 

And the Turks took him as a prisoner 
And bound him to a thirsty tree ; 

2 Through his left shoulder they bored a hole 
And through and through they drune^ a key 
And they forced him into the dungeon deep 
Where the light of day he ne'er could see. 

3 The jailer had a l^eautiful daughter — 
A beautiful creature, oh ! was she — 
The jailhouse door was open wide 
And by Lord Deham did stand she. 



'Now have you any house or land, 
Or any other buildings free? 
What would you give to a pretty gu'l 
To set you at your liberty ?' 



5 'Glasgow town is all my own. 

Besides other buildings two or three : 

All this I'll give to a ])retty girl 

To set me at my liberty.' 
' Henry's text has "drew." For the meaning of "key" see headnote. 



58 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

6 She took him by the Hberty- white hand, 
Through rooms and rooms went he and she; 
The sugar bread and wine so red 

Was all to nourish his fair body. 

7 They drew a leave^ between them both 
For seven long years and a day. 
'And if you don't come unto the time, 
All the blame on you I'll lay.' 

8 The seven year being most gone 
Miss Susan thought the time was long. 
T must go seek my young Deham. 

I know not where or what land.' 

9 Her father built her a little ship 
And put it on the raging sea. 
And in it he put gold enough 
To bear her own sweet company. 

10 She sailed high and she sailed low ; 
Some turquoise stones she chanced to spy. 
As she sat cracking her milk-white fingers 
Three gentlemen came riding by. 

11 Ts this Deham's hall? 

Or is there ary knight within?' 
'This here is young Deham's hall, 
And there is a knight within. 

12 'He's a-sittin' at his wedding table, 
Makin' welcome with his nol)le kin.' 

13 When she came to Lord Deham's gate 
She dingled loudly at the gate. 

'Just wait a while,' the proud porter says, 
'I'll quickly rise and let you in. 

14 'There's the purtiest woman at your gate 
That ever my two eyes did see.' 

He kicked the table with his foot 
And caught all upon his knees ; 

15 The silver pans and earthen cans, 
All to pieces they did fly. 

'I'll lay my life,' Lord Deham says, 
Miss Susan Price come over sea !' 

* So the manuscript ; perhaps merely a mistake not corrected. 
' The meaning seems to be "promise" or "agreement" ; "leave' 
a strange word for it. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 59 

1 6 'Now are you married to another woman? 
I'm sure I hain't to another man. 

Just pay me down ninety thousand pounds 
And I'll sail back to the Turkish land.' 

17 'My dearest jewel, now don't say so! 
But if you nuirmur, let it be ; 

I'll wed you to my older brother, 
If contented with him you will be.' 

18 'I wish you great luck with your older brother, 
But I don't want no such a man. 

Just pay me down ninety thousand pounds 
And I'll sail back to the Turkish land.' 

19 'My dearest jewel, now don't say so! 
But if you murmur, let it be; 

I'll wed you to my younger brother, 
If contented with him you'll be.' 

20 'I wish you great luck with your younger broUier, 
But I don't want no such a man. 

Just pay me down ninety thousand pound 
And I'll sail back to the Turkish land.' 

21 'My dearest jewel, now don't say so! 
But if you murmur, let it be ; 

I'll wed you to my own self 
If contented you'll be.' 

22 Up then spoke the new bride's mother : 
'Such a thing was never known, 

To marry a damsel in the morning fair 
And wed another before it's noon !' 

23 'You can take your brown girl home, 
I'm sure she's none the worse by me ; 
I aim to wed the lady fair 

That set me at my liberty.' 

F 
'Lord Batesman.' Contributed by James York of Olin, Iredell county, 
in 1939- 

1 There lived a man in our country 
And he was a man of high degree. 
Lord Batesman could not be contented 
Till he had taken a voyage at sea. 

2 And he sailed east and he sailed west. 

He sailed till he came to the Turkish shore. 



6o NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

And there he's taken up a prisoner — 
No hopes of freedom any more. 

3 The jailer had one only daughter, 
And she was as fine as fine could be. 
She gathered all her father's keys, 
Saying, 'Lord Batesman I'll go see.' 

4 She took him down to her father's cellar, 
She gave him wine so red and strong. 
And every glass she held unto him, 

Saying, 'I wish Lord Batesman was my own. 

5 'Oh, have you house and land,' she sayeth. 
And have you living of high degree ? 

And wril you give it all to the lady 
Who out of prison will set you free?' 

6 'Yes, I have houses and lands,' he sayeth, 
'And I have a living of high degree. 
And I will give it all to the lady 

Who out of prison will set me free.' 

7 'For seven long years we'll make this bargain. 
For seven long years — and here's my hand — 
If you will marry no other lady 

I'm sure I'll marry no other man.' 

8 She took him down to her father's harbor 
And there she gave him a boat and car,^ 
Saying, 'Fare you well, my own true lover, 
I fear I'll see your face no more.' 

9 For seven long years have passed and ended, 
The seven long years ; and it's one, two, three — 
She gathered all her jewelry round her 
Saying, 'Lord Batesman I'll go see.' 

10 She sailed till she came to Lord Batesman's castle 
She tangled till she made him let her within. 
Lord Batesman sent his servant down running 

To see who wished for to come in. 

11 'Is this Lord Batesman's castle?' she sayeth; 
'Doth he himself dwell here within?' 

'Yes, this is Lord Batesman's castle,' he sayeth, 
'And he's just brought his new bride in.' 

12 'Go tell him I want a slice of his bread, 
And I want a glass of his wine so strong. 

* Both sense and rhyme call for "oar" here. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 6l 

And ask him if he's forgotten the lady 
Who's freed him out of prison so long.' 

13 'There's the finest lady at your gate 
That ever my two eyes did see. 
She wears a ring on her little finger 
And on the rest is one, two, three ; 

She wears more jewelry round her body 
Than is worn by your bride and her company.' 

14 Lord Batesman rising from his table 

As he broke the bread and the wine so strong, 
Saying. 'Are you well, my lovely beauty? 
Since my sweet Susan has come to me. 

15 T married your daughter just today, 
I'm sure she's injured none by me; 

I brought her here on horse and saddle 
But I'll take her back in a coach of three.' 



15 

The Cherry Tree Carol 

(Child 54) 

Of the three carols admitted by Child to his ballad collection this 
is the only one that has persisted in the folk memory in America. 
See Davis's headnote in TBV. To the list of its occurrences there 
given may be added Scotland (LL 45), Hampshire (JFSS in 260), 
Cornwall (JFSS v 11-12 and 321-2), Saskatchewan (JFSS viii 
229-30), Maine (BBM 446, a trace only). Vermont (CSV 48-50), 
Kentucky (SharpK i 92-4, FSSH 59, JAFL xlix 45-6, li 15-16), 
Tennessee (BTFLS viii 78), Florida (FSF 262-3), and Missouri 
(OFS I 88). In the carol — expressly in some texts, by implication 
in others — the unborn child speaks from the womb ; in the apocry- 
phal gospel from which the story derives the incident occurs, not 
before the birth of Jesus, but during the flight into Egypt, and the 
tree is a palm, not a cherry. 

A 
No title. Mrs. Sutton secured this from the singing of a little girl in 
the Miller's Gap school, Madison county. It was near Christmas time, 
and Mrs. Sutton started to teach the children 'O Little Town of 
Bethlehem' ; whereupon one of them said "I know a tune about Beth- 
lehem" and proceeded to sing the following. 

I Joseph and Mary walked one day 
All in an orchard good. 
The trees were full of cherries 
As red as any blood. 



62 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLOl 

2 Mary spoke to Joseph, 

Her words were soft and kind : 
'Pick me one cherry, husband, 
For they do fill my mind.' 

3 Then Joseph answered Mary, 
His words was most unkind: 

'Let your lover pick your cherries; 
I care not what's on your mind.' 

4 And then the little baby spoke 
Unto the cherry bough : 

'Bend down your branch to my mother 
And give her cherries now.' 

5 Then all the cherry tree bowed down 
Unto sweet Mary's hand. 

And she cried out, 'See, Joseph, 
I have cherries at my command.' 

6 Old Joseph was ashamed 
That he had done Mary wrong. 
And told her to be cherry^ 
And not to feel cast down. 

7 And all the stones in Bethlehem, 
In the streets and in the wall, 
Cried out in praise of Mary, 
And loud they cried to all. 



'Song.' Communicated, probably in 1922, by Mrs. Nilla Lancaster of 
Goldsboro, Wayne county. This runs fairly close to Child's A version 
which is from the west of England. The chief differences are in the 
concluding stanzas. 

1 Old Joseph was an old man, 
An old man was he. 

He married virgin Mary, 
The queen of Galilee. 

2 As Joseph and Mary 
Were walking one day, 

'Here are apples, here are cherries, 
Enough to behold.' 

3 Then Mary sjxjke to Joseph, 
So meek and so mild: 

'Joseph, gather me some cherries, 
For I am with child.' 
* Evidently for "cheery." Did the child confuse the two words? 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 63 

4 Then Joseph flew in anger, 
In anger flew he : 

'Let the father of the baby 
Gather cherries for thee.' 

5 Then Jesus spoke a few words, 
A few words spoke he : 

'Let my mother have some cherries. 
Bow low down, cherry tree.' 

6 The cherry tree bowed low down. 
Bowed low down to the ground. 
And Mary gathered cherries 
While Joseph stood around. 

7 Then Joseph took Mary 
All on his right knee : 
'Oh, what have I done? 
Lord have mercy on me !' 

8 Then Joseph took Mary 
All on his left knee: 
'Oh, tell me, little baby, 
When thy birth-day will be.* 

9 'On the sixth day of January 
My birth-day will be, 

When the stars in the elements 
Shall tremble with glee.' 

16 

Sir Patrick Spens 
(Child 58) 

Until a few years ago it seemed that "the grand old ballad of 
Sir Patrick Spence" was extinct in American, as indeed also in 
British, tradition. But in 1937 Mr. John Powell, of Virginia, pub- 
lished in the first number of the Southern Folk-Lore Quarterly an 
admirable text, with tune, as sung for him by Mr. George Tucker, 
who learned it from his grandmother, as she had learned it from 
hers, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. And within the year the 
same journal presented another version, this time from the singing 
of Miss Clara J. McCauley, supervisor of music in the Knoxville 
schools, reported by Professor E. C. Kirkland of the University 
of Tennessee. This second version goes back, really, to North 
Carolina ; Miss McCauley learned it from her father's singing at 
their home near Chapel Hill. Professor Kirkland and the Quar- 
terly have very kindly consented to our reproducing it here as part 
of the ballad lore of North Carolina. 



64 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'Sir Patrick Spence.' Recorded by E. C. Kirkland in August 1937, 
from the singing of Miss Clara J. McCauley. 

The king he sits in Dumferling town, 
A-drinking his blood-red wine, 
'Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailor 
That ever sailed the brine.' 

The king still sits in Dumferling town, 
And a-sipping his red, red wine, 
'Now where can I get a good sailor 
To man this ship o' mine?' 

Oh up then said a yellow-haired lad 
Just by the king's left knee, 
'Sir Patrick Spence is the best skipper 
That ever sailed the sea.' 

Oh up then spoke an old. old knight 
Right nigh the king's right knee, 
'Sir, you are the very, very best sailor 
That ever sailed the sea.' 

The king he wrote a good letter 
And a-sealed it with his hand ; 
And when Sir Patrick Spence got it 
He was strolling on the sand. 

Sir Patrick read the orders from the king 
That made him laugh at first, 
But as he read another sad line, 
Sir Patrick feared the worst. 

He took his ship to far Norway, 
A-sailing o'er the sea. 
To get a lovely maiden fair 
And to fetch her back, said he. 

They sailed and sailed for many a day 
Upon the wild, wild sea, 
But our good sailor Sir Patrick Spence 
Was drowned in the deep. 

So the king sits on in Dumferling town 
A-drinking his blood-red wine, 
'Oh, where can I get a good sailor 
To sail this ship of mine?' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 65 

Child Waters 
(Child 63) 

This ballad must have been popular — as it deserved to be — in 
Scotland a hundred and fifty years ago. Of Child's ten versions 
all but one (A, from the Percy Folio MS) are Scotch and come 
from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. But it has 
seldom been recorded in later times. Greig reports it from Aber- 
deenshire (LL 51-2) ; there is no mention of it in the Journal of 
the Folk-Song Society. Randolph (OFS i 69-70) reports a frag- 
mentary text of three stanzas from Arkansas. Otherwise it had not 
been found in America until Mrs. Sutton found the North Caro- 
lina text here presented. This text belongs in the same tradition 
as Child's B, which is from Mrs. Brown of Falkland; indeed, the 
correspondence is fairly close, though the North Carolina version 
omits some details and modifies others. 

'Fair Ellen.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of Mrs. 
Rebecca Gordon of Cat's Head on Saluda Mountain, Henderson county. 

1 'I warn you all, you maidens fair, 
That wear the red and brown. 

That you don't leave your father's house 
To run with boys from town. 

2 'For here am I, a maiden fair 
That once wore red and brown, 
And I did leave my father's house 
And f oiler a man from town.' 

3 He sprang upon his milk-white steed 
And fast away rode he ; 

She dressed herself like a little foot-page 
And ran beside his knee 

4 Till they came to a deep river ; 
It ran both swift and wide. 

'Oh, can you swim,' her lover said. 
'Or hang to the horse's side?' 

5 The first step in the water deep. 
It came up to her knee. 

'Alas, alas,' the lady said, 
'I fear you've drownded me. 

6 'Lie still, lie still, my baby dear, 
Don't work your mother woe ; 

Your father rides on a milk-white steed 
And cares not for us two.' 



66 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 When they reached the side of the deep river 
She mounted on a stone. 

He turned about his milk-white steed 
And took her on behind. 

8 'Oh, do you see that castle so high 
That shines so bright and free? 
There is a lady in that high castle 
That will part you and me.' 

9 'If there is a lady in that castle 
That will part you and I, 

The day I see her,' Ellen said, 
'That day I surely die.' 

10 'Oh, she shall eat the good wheat bread 
And you shall eat the corn. 

And you will set and curse the hour 
That ever you were born.' 

11 Four and twenty gay ladies 
Welcomed him to the castle green, 
But the fairest lady of them all 
At the manger stood alone. 

12 When bells were rung and the table spread 
And the guests sat down to eat, 

Fair Ellen at the last table 
With the servants ate her meat. 

13 Then out and spoke his mother dear, 
And a wise woman was she : 

'Where did you come up with that fair foot-page 
That looks so sad at thee? 

14 'Sometimes his cheek shines rosy red, 
Sometimes it's pale and thin. 

He looks like a woman faint with love 
And caught in deadly sin.' 

15 'It makes me laugh, my mother dear. 
To hear such words from thee. 

He is a lord's own younger son 
Who for love has followed me. 

16 'Rise up, rise up, my little foot-page. 
And give my horse his hay.' 

'Oh, that I will, my master dear. 
As fast as ever I may.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 67 

17 She took the hay in her soft white hands 
And ran from out the hall. 

And fast she went to the great stable 
And she did 

18 His mother sat within her bower 
And pondered all alone, 
When in the silence of the night 
She heard fair Ellen moan. 

19 'Get up, get up, my son,' she said, 
'Go see how she does fare. 

For I do hear a woman mourn, 
And a babe a-crying, too.' 

20 Oh, hastily he got him up, 
Into the barn went he. 

'Be not afraid, fair Ellen,' he said, 
'There's no one here but me.' 

21 Up he picked his fair young son 
And gave to him some milk. 
And up he took fair Ellen then 
And dressed her in the silk. 



18 

Young Hunting 
(Child 68) 

For the occurrence of this ballad in the United States and the 
interesting variations it has undergone, see BSM 34-5 ; and add to 
the references there given Tennessee (BTFLS viii 71-2), North 
Carolina (FSRA 21-2), Florida (SFLQ vm 146-7), Arkansas 
(OFS I 92-3), Missouri (OFS i 90-1), Indiana (BSI 166-9), and 
Wisconsin (JAFL lii 30, brought from Kentucky). The name 
given to the victim of jealousy in our text I have not found else- 
where; most commonly he is called "loving Henry." Mrs. Steely 
found two texts of this, one with tune, in the Ebenezer community 
in Wake county. 

'Lord Bonnie.' Contributed in 1939 by James York of Olin, Iredell 
county. 

1 Lord Bonnie he was a hunting man 
And a-hunting he did ride 

With a hunting horn all around his neck 
And his sword by his side. 

2 He rode till he came to his friend Jesse's^ hall ; 

* So the manuscript ; one supposes that it should be "Jessie's." 



68 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

He knocked and loudly called. 

No one so fair as his own true love 

For to rise and bid him come m. 

3 'Come in, come in, Lord Bonnie,' she cried. 
'And stay the night with me. 

A rounding- fire you shall have 
And a cup of white chalk tea.' 

4 'I will come in and I will come in, 
But I have but a moment to stay ; 

For the girl I love much better than thee 
I shall see ere the break of day.' 

5 While setting there all alone on her lap 
A-kissing her so sweet, 

With a little pen-knife that was sharp at the point 
She wounded him most deep. 

6 'Lord Bonnie, Lord Bonnie, Lord Bonnie,' she cried. 
'What makes you look so pale?' 

'I think I feel my own heart's blood 
A-falling at my feet.' 

7 'Don't die, don't die. Lord Bonnie,' she cried, 
'Don't die so soon ! 

You shall have all the doctors in the whole round town 
For to heal and cure your wounds.' 

8 'I must die, I must die,' Lord Bonnie he cried, 
'You have wounded me so deep. 

There was not another lady in the whole round town 
That I loved as well as thee.' 

9 Just three long hours till the break of day 
She called her housemaids three. 

Saying, 'Lord Bonnie he has died in my lap; 
I think it's time he was taken away.' 

10 Some took him by the yellow gold locks. 
Some took him by the feet. 

And they threw him in the cold water well 
Where it was wide and deep. 

1 1 'Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man, 
Till the water covers over your chin. 

There's not another lady in the whole wide town 
That will bid Lord Bonnie come in.' 

^ One supposes that this should be "rousing." But what is white 
chalk tea? 



older ballads — mostly british 69 

Lord Thomas and Fair Annex 
(Child 73) 

Of all the old ballads, this probably stands next to 'Barbara 
Allan' in popular favor. For its range in living tradition, both in 
the old countrv and in America, see BSM 37-8 and add Tennessee 
(SFLQ XI 122-3), North Carolina (FSRA 23-4), Florida (SFLQ 
VIII 147-50), Arkansas (OFS i 99-101, 106-8), Missouri (OFS 1 
94-9, 1 01 -6), Ohio (BSO 29-34), Indiana (BSI 58-70), Illinois 
(JAFL Lii 75-6), and Michigan (BSSM 37-9). American texts 
follow one general pattern with various differences in detail — 
mostly cases of leaving out or putting in. Of the fourteen texts in 
the Brown Collection only a few are here given in full. 



'Lord Thomas and Fair Annet.' Secured by Dr. Brown in 1898-99 in 
Rockingham county, Virginia — not strictly speaking a North Carolina 
version but given here as being probably the first ballad he ever col- 
lected. In the second line "door" should of course be "deer" ; the 
Virginia singer knew nothing of any "keeper" of deer but had heard 
of doorkeepers. The spelling "a tire" in stanzas 4 and 8 — in the manu- 
script it is "a 'tire" — indicates that to the singer the word was not 
"attire" but "tire" as in "tirewoman." Is "nought" in stanza 15 
phonetic for the singer's pronunciation of "nut"? 

1 Lord Thomas he being a bold young man, 
A keeper of our king's door. 

Fair Ellen she being a clever young woman, 
Lord Thomas be loved her dear. 

2 He went into his mother's room : 
'Come riddle to me this one, 

Whether I shall marry fair Ellen,' he says, 
*Or bring the brown girl home?' 

3 'The brown girl she has house and land, 
Fair Ellinor she's got none ; 
Therefore I beseech you with my blessing 
Go bring the brown girl home.' 

4 He dressed himself in a tire of red. 
His merry men all in green. 

And every town that he rode thro' 
They took him to be some king. 

5 He rode till he came to fair Ellinor's bower, 
He rapped at the ring. 

There was none as ready as fair Ellinor herself 
To rise and let him in. 



70 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

6 'What news, what news, Lord Thomas?' she said, 
'What news have you brought unto me?' 

*I have come to bid you to my wedding, 
And that's bad news for thee.' 

7 'Oh, God forbid. Lord Thomas,' she said, 
'That any such a thing should be done ; 
For I thought to be the bride my own self, 
And you was to be the bridegroom.' 

8 She dressed herself in a tire of red, 
Her merry maids all in green, 
And eviery town that she rode thro' 
They took her to be some queen. 

9 She rode till she came to Lord Thomas' bower. 
She rapped at the ring ; 

There was no one so ready as Lorcf Thomas himself 
To rise and let her in. 

10 He took her by her lily-white hand 
And led her in the hall; 

He sat her at the head of the table 
Among the ladies all. 

11 'Is this your bride. Lord Thomas?' she said. 
'I think she looks wonderful brown. 

For you might have had the fairest young woman 
That ever trod English groun'.' 

12 The brown girl had a small pen-knife, 
It being sharp and keen ; 

Betwixt the long ribs and the short 
She pierced fair Ellinor's heart. 

13 'Oh, what's the matter, fair Ellen?' he said. 
'I think you look wonderful pale. 

You used to be the fairest young woman 
That ever trod English groun'.' 

14 'Why, are you blind, Lord Thomas,' she said, 
'Or can you not very well see? 

For don't you see my own heart's bleed 
Come trickling down my knee?' 

15 Lord Thomas he having a nought broad sword. 
It being sharp and keen. 

He cut oflf the brown girl's head 
And dashed it against the wall. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH Jl 

1 6 He put the helve unto the floor, 
The point unto his heart. 

Was there ever three lovers so simple together 
That were so soon to part? 



'Fair Ellender and the Brown Girl.' From tlie collection of Miss Edith 
B. Fish of White Rock, Madison county. She had sent this and otlier 
ballads to C. Alplionso Smith in 1913; shortly thereafter she sent it 
to the North Carolina collection. It corresponds rather closely to A, 
but adds two stanzas after Lord Thomas's announcement of his coming 
wedding : 

'Come father, come mother, come riddle my riddle 
And riddle it all as one ; 

Whether I must go to Lord Thomas's wedding 
Or tarry along at home. 

'There are many there that will he my friends. 
There are many will he my foes. 
I've entered life, I'll enter death, 
And to the wedding I'll go.' 

And appends the familiar quatrain directing his funeral: 

'Go dig my grave both wide and deep 
And paint my coffin black. 
And bury fair Ellender in my arms 
And the brown girl at my back.' 

C »^ 

'Lord Thomas and Fair Ellenter.' From the collection of Miss Louise 
Rand Basconi, Highlands, Macon county. It is a somewhat defective 
text — lines are missing in places. Only Ellenter asks advice from her 
mother; as the lines stand, she does not get it, but declares that she 
will go to the wedding anyhow : 

It's I would go to Lord Thomas's weddin' 
If my coffin was in at my door.' 

Miss Bascom notes a distinction of sex in the matter of summoning 
people to the door: Lord Thomas "jangled up the rein" but Fair Ellenter 
"jingled at the rein." This text, also, ends with the burial directions. 



'Lord Thomas.' Collected by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga 
county, in or before 191 4. In that year he was in lively correspondence 
with C. Alphonso Smith (who was himself a North Carolinian) on the 
subject of ballads and sent him this text among others. Later C. A. 
Smith released all his North Carolina gatherings to the North Carolina 
Folklore Society. Thomas Smith wrote in 1914 that this ballad is 
"written as sung by Miss Ida Wilson, whose father sang it nearly 
sixty years ago." Sixteen stanzas. Only Lord Thomas seeks maternal 
advice. In stanza 10 appears a faint memory of the sharp dialogue 



"JT. NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

between Aniiet and the brown girl in Child's versions AEG (and in 
most of the other versions less strikingly) : 

'Where did you get your well water 
That washed your skin so white?' 

But Ellender makes no reply, at least not to the brown girl. The cus- 
tomary stanza directing the burial at the close. 

'Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender.' Sent in in 1914 by D. W. Fletcher 
of RED 4 near Durham, from the singing of D. E. Holder, who learned 
it from his mother. The "mense" of stanzas 3 and 8 stands perhaps 
for "immense" ; line 2 of stanza 3, meaningless in this place, is probably 
merely a careless anticipation of the same line in stanza 8; "before" in 
stanza 2 should apparently be "therefore." 

1 'O mother and father, come riddle my riddle, 
Come riddle us both as one, 

Whether I marry fair Ellender 
Or bring the brown girl home.' 

2 'The brown girl she has house and land, 
Fair Ellender she has none; 

Before I charge you with my great blessing 
To bring the brown girl home.' 

3 He dressed himself in mense array, 
This maid in morning-green, 

And every village he rode through 
They taken him to be some king. 

4 He rode unto fair Ellender's hall, 
He knocked so loud at the ring; 

There was none so ready as fair Ellender herself 
To rise and welcome him in. 

5 'Oh, what is the matter, Lord Thomas?' she cried, 
'What news have you brought to me?' 

'I have come to ask you to my wedding. 
And I'm sure it's sad news to tell.' 

6 'Now mother and father, come riddle us now, 
Come riddle us both as one, 

Whether I go to Lord Thomas' wedding 
Or stay with you at home.' 

7 'There's many that be there that be your friends. 
There's many that be your foe.' 

'But little do I care for all of that; 
To Thomas' wedding I'll go.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 73 

8 She dressed herself in niense array, 
Her maid in morning^ green, 

And every village she rode through 
They taken her to be some queen. 

9 She rode up to Lord Thomas' hall ; 
So loud she knocked at the ring; 

There was none so ready as Lord Thomas himself 
For to rise and welcome her in. 

10 He taken her by her lily-white hand 
And led her through the hall 

And set her down at the end of the table 
Above his own bride and all. 

1 1 'O Thomas, O Thomas, is this your bride ? 
I think slie looks wonderful brown, 

When once you could have married as fair a skin lady 
As ever the sun shone on.' 

12 The brown girl she had a little pen-knife, 
'Twas both keen and sharp. 

Between the long ribs and the short 
She retched fair Ellender's heart. 

13 'Oh what is the matter?' Lord Thomas he cried, 
'What makes you look so pale, 

When you once used to carry as red rosy cheeks 
As ever shined under a veil ?' 

14 'O Thomas, O Thomas, are you not blind? 
Why, can't you very well see? 

I think I feel my own heart's blood 
A-trickling down by me.' 

15 Lord Thomas he had a little bright sword 
A-hanging in the hall. 

He cut off his own bride's head 
And stove it against the wall. 

16 Lord Thomas he had a little pen-knife, 
'Twas both keen and sharp. 

He put the handle against the ground 
The point against his heart. 

17 He placed the handle against the ground 
And the point against his chest, 

Saying, 'Here lies the death of three long lovers. 
Lord, send our souls to rest ! 



74 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 8 'O mother and father, go dig my grave, 
And dig it wide and deep, 
And bury fair Ellender by my side 
And the brown girl at my feet.' 

f/ 

'Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor.' Contributed by Professor E. L. Starr 
of Salem College in January 191 5. There is no record of whence he 
got it. A quite normal text of fourteen stanzas. The only thing that 
seems to call for comment is "a knock so loudly ring" in stanzas 3 and 
7. Here "ring" has become a verb whereas properly it is the metal 
ring of a door-knocker. 

G *" 

'Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor.' Sent in by L G. Greer of Boone, 
Watauga county, probably in 191 5. Though for the most part a quite 
regular text, it has some details that justify giving it in full. Spelling 
the "brown girl" with a capital B suggests that it is understood as a 
family name. The entire omission of the stabbing has a somewhat 
startling eflfect. 

1 'Father, O father, come riddle this riddle, 
Come riddle it all as one ; 

What mu.st I do? Go marry fair Eleanor, 
Or bring the Brown girl home?' 

2 'The Brown girl she has house and land, 
Fair Eleanor she has none ; 

So for your own blest good, my son, 
Go bring the Brown girl home.' 

3 He dressed himself in silk so fine, 
His waistbands all in green, 

And every town that he rode round 
They took him to be some king. 

4 He rode up to fair Eleanor's gate, 
So lightly tapped the ring ; 

No one so ready as fair Eleanor herself 
To rise and let him in. 

5 'What news, Lord Thomas, what news,' said she, 
'What news have you for me?' 

'I've come to ask you to my wedding.' 
' 'Tis very bad news,' said she. 

6 'Mother, O mother, come riddle this riddle, 
Come riddle it all as one. 

What must I do ? Go to the wedding, 
Or tarry this day at home?' 

7 'Daughter, O daughter, I've riddled your riddle. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 75 

I've riddled it all as one; 

The best advice I can give to you 

Is to tarry this day at home.' 

8 But she dressed herself in silk so fine, 
Her waistbands all in green, 

And every town that she rode through 
They took her to be some queen. 

9 She rode up to Lord Thomas' gate, 
So lightly tapped the ring; 

No one so ready as Lord Thomas himself 
To rise and let her in. 

10 'Is this your bride? Is this your bride? 
She looks so very brown. 

And you could have married as fair a young lady 
As ever the sun shone on.' 

1 1 Lord Thomas he squealed and he squalled : 
'What makes you look so pale ? 

You used to wear as red rosy cheeks 
As ever shone under a veil.' 

12 *Oh, are you blind, that you can't see 
Your bride has murdered me? 

I feel my own, my own heart's blood 
Come trinkling down by me.' 

13 He took the Brown girl by the hand. 
He led her into the hall, 

And with a sword he chopped her head ofi 
And kicked it against the wall. 

14 'Father, O father, go dig a grave, 
Dig it both wide and deep ; 

Lay fair Eleanor by my side 
And the Brown girl at my feet.' 

15 He put the sword against the vvall, 
The point against his breast, 

Saying, 'Father, O father, here's three true lovers; 
God send tiieir souls to rest !' 



'Lord Thomas.' Sent in by I. G. Greer in 1919 from the singing of his 
cousin Miss Fannie Grogan of Silverstone, Watauga county. A fairly 
normal text of twelve stanzas. Both Thomas and Ellinor consult their 
respective mothers. There are, however, some passages corrupted to 
the point of being unintelligible. The first two lines of stanzas 3 and 
6 run: 



76 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

He went he dressed all in his best 
His majesty, they were brown 

and 

She went she dressed all in her best. 
Her majesty. They were green 

and the account of the stabbing runs : 

The brown girl she had a little pen knife 
With blades both keen and sharp 
Between the long blade and the short 
She pierced fair EUinor right in the heart. 

I ^ 
'Lord Thomas.' From the singing of Mrs. Alice Cooke of Boone, 
Watauga county, in 1922. The text seems somewhat disordered as re- 
gards rhythm and rhyme, but perhaps this will be explained in vol. IV, 
for the text here is taken from the musical score. Lord Thomas "splits 
his bride in twain" instead of cutting off her head. 

'The Brown Girl.' Taken down by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of 
Mrs. Brown of Beech Mountain, Watauga county, "one of the twenty- 
odd singers in the Blue Ridge from whom I collected this ballad," 
Mrs. Sutton notes. It is a normal text of fifteen stanzas. Only Fair 
Ellender's dress is described, not Thomas's. There is a new phrase in 
stanzas 2 and 6 : 

He called up his merry merry men 
By one, by two, and by three 

She called up her merry merry men 
By one and by two and by three 

The death of Lord Thomas is told in a way to make it seem accidental, 
but that is probably not what is meant to be understood: 

He threw the sword against the floor. 
The point flew up in his breast. 
Now lie three lovers all in a row ; 
God send them home to rest. 

K, 
'Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor.' From Mary Scarborough of Dare 
county ; the only text from tidewater North Carolina. Eighteen stanzas. 
Has the familiar ballad repeat at the end of each stanza : 

Lord Thomas he was a very fine man, 
A hunter of the king's deer ; 
Fair Ellinor she was a very fine lady, 
Lord Thomas he loved her well well well, 
Lord Thomas he loved her well. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH "jy 

Thomas asks his father and mother to riddle his riddle, stanza 2; 
Ellinor does the same, stanza 7. Thomas 

dressed himself in very red, 
In very red and green, 

and Ellinor repeats the procedure a few stanzas later. 

L ^ 
"Lord Thomas.' Contributed by W. A. Abrams in 1939 from the sing- 
ing of Mrs. J. E. Spence of Siler City, Chatham county. An unusually 
full text, nineteen stanzas, yet it lacks entirely Ellen's scornful remark 
about her rival's complexion which motivates the brown girl's assault. 

M ^ 
'Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor.' Reported by Mrs. R. D. Blacknall of 
Durham as "sung by an elderly seamstress in my great-grandfather's 
family between 1812 and 1820." The longest of all the North Carolina 
texts, and interesting by reason of its divergencies from customary 
readings. It is dirticult, in the customary versions, to reconcile 
Eleanor's sumptuous array and equipment with her status as dowerless 
girl, it is still more so when we have her presented as the only daugh- 
ter of the king's high dame. 

1 Lord Thomas, Lord Thomas he was a brave man ; 
He courted the king's high dame. 

She had but one own fair daughter — 
Fair Eleanor was her name. 

2 'O mother, O mother, come riddle to me, 
And riddle us both as one, 

And say shall I marry the fair Eleanor 
Or bring the brown girl home?' 

3 'The brown girl she hath both house and lands, 
Fair Eleanor hath none. 

So I would advise you with all of my mind 
To bring the brown girl home.' 

4 He clad himself in velvet fine. 
His waiters all in white; 

And every town that they passed through 
They took him to be some knight. 

5 He rode and he rode till he came to the castle ; 
He made the knocker to ring. 

There was none so ready as the fair Eleanor 
To rise and let him in. 

6 'What news, what news. Lord Thomas?' she cried, 
'What news do you bring to me?' 

'I come to invite you to my wedding. 
Tomorrow it is to be.' 



78 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 'Bad news, bad news, Lord Thomas,' she cried, 
'Bad news do you bring to me. 

I thought to have been myself your bride 
And you bridegroom to me. 

8 'O mother, O mother, come riddle to me, 
And riddle us both as one. 

And say shall I go to Lord Thomas's wedding 
Or tarry alone at home?' 

9 'There are many that are our friends, daughter, 
But thousands are our foes. 

So I would advise you with all of my mind 
To Lord Thomas's wedding don't go.' 

10 'There are many that are our friends, mother, 
Though thousands be our foes. 

So, betide me life, betide me death, 
To Lord Thomas's wedding Til go !' 

11 She clad herself in satin fine, 
Her maidens all in green, 

And every town that she passed through 
They took her to be some queen. 

12 She rode and she rode till she came to the hall; 
She made the knocker to ring. 

There was none so ready as Lord Thomas himself 
To rise and let her in. 

13 He took her by her lily-white hand. 
He led her through the hall, 

He led her into an upper room 
Where sat the ladies all. 

14 'Is this your bride. Lord Thomas?' she cried, 
'Methinks she looks wondrous brown, 
When you might have had so fair a lady 

As ever the sun shone on !' 

15 'Oh, speak no ill,' Lord Thomas said, 
'Oh, speak no ill of she ; 

For I do love your little finger more 
Than I do her whole body.' 

16 The brown girl she had a little pen-knife, 
And it was keen as a dart ; 

And between the short ribs and the long 
She pierced fair Eleanor's heart. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH "9 

17 'Oh, you are blind, Lord Thomas,' she cried, 
'Or can't you very well see? 

Oh, don't you see my young heart's blood 
Come trickling down to my knee?' 

18 Lord Thomas he had a sword by his side. 
And it was sharp and small ; 

And with it he cut off the brown girl's head 
And he flung it against the wall. 

19 'Oh. dig my grave, oh, dig my grave, 
And dig it wide and deep. 

Bury fair Eleanor in my arms, 
The brown girl at my feet.' 

20 He placed the hilt upon the ground, 
The point against his heart. 

Did ever three lovers meet together 
So very soon to part? 

N 
'Fair Eleanor.' Contributed by Mrs. Rigsbee, apparently of Durham. 
An incomplete version of eight stanzas, lacking all of the story preceding 
Eleanor's question whether she shall go to Lord Thomas's wedding, and 
lacking also the stanzas in which Eleanor reveals her wound to Thomas ; 
nothing distinctive in the stanzas that remain. 



Fair Margaret and Sweet William 
(Child 74) 

Widely known and sung-. See BSM 48. and add to the references 
there given Tennessee (BTFLS viii 66-8), North Carolina (FSRA 
2S-6), Missouri (OFS i 109-12), Ohio (BSO 34-8), Indiana (BSI 
71-9), Illinois (JAFL lii 81), and Michigan (BSSM 40-2). 

a 
'Lady Marget.' From the collection of Miss Edith R. Fish of White 
Rock. Madison county; one of the items she sent to C. Alphonso Smith 
in 1 91 5 and which later came to the North Carf)lina collection with 
permission to publish. The meaning of "broughten" in stanzas 3 and 6 is 
not apparent. 

1 Sweet William arose one morning in May 
And dressed himself in blue. 

'Pray tell me all about that long, long love 
Betwixt Lady Marget and you.' 

2 'It's I know nothing of Lady Marget, 
And she knows nothing of me. 



80 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Tomorrow morning at eight o'clock 
Lady Marget my bride shall see.' 

3 As she was a-standing in her dower room, 
A-combing back her hair, 

She saw sweet William and his brown broughten bride 
As they drew near to her. 

4 Back she threw her ivory comb 
And back she threw her hair ; 
Then she ran to her bed-chamber 
Nevermore to appear. 

5 That very same night when they were all in the bed. 
When they were all in the l)ed asleep. 

Lady Marget rose, stood all alone 
At sweet William's bed feet. 

6 'And how do you like your bed, sweet William, 
And how do you like your sheet. 

Or how do you like your brown broughten bride 
That lies in your arms asleep?' 

7 'Very well, very well I like my bed, 
Very well I like my sheet ; 

Ten thousand times better I like the lady gay 
That stands at my bed feet.' 

8 Sweet William arose, stood all alone, 
And tingled at the ring. 

There's none so ready but her seven brothers all 
To rise and let him in. 

9 'Oh, where is Lady Marget?' he says, 
'Oh, where is Lady Marget?' he cries. 
'Lady Marget is the girl I always did adore. 
And she stole my heart away. 

10 'Is she in her dower room? 
Or is she in her hall? 

Or is she in her bed-chamber 
Among her merry maids all ?' 

1 1 'She is not in her bower room,^ 
Nor neither in her hall, 

But she is in her cold coffin. 
Her pale face towards the wall.' 

^ This is "dower room" in stanzas 3 and lo, "bell room" in B, "dining 
room" in C, "dressing room" in G ; elsewhere "bower room" as here, 
which seems to be the right reading. 



O I. U K R BALLADS MOSTLY U K I T 1 S II 8l 

12 And down he pulled the milk-white sheets, 
They were made of satin so fine. 

'Ten thousand times you've kissed my lips, 
And now, love, I'll kiss thine.' 

13 Three times he kissed her snowy white breast, 
Three times he kissed her cheeks ; 

But when he kissed her cold clay lips 
His heart was broke within. 

14 'What will you have at T.ady Market's burying? 
Will you have bread and wine? 

Tomorrow morning at eight o'clock 
The same will be had at mine.' 

15 They buried Lady Marget at the church door 
And buried sweet William by her. 

Out of Lady Marget 's grave sprung a green, green rose 
And out of sweet William's a brier. 

16 They grew and grew to the top of the church. 
And they could grow no higher. 

And they tied a true love's knot 
And lived and died together. 

B 

'Lady Margaret.' Reported by L. W. Anderson of Nag's Head as sung 
to Arnold Perry of Kitty Hawk by liis father, George Perry. A frag- 
mentary text. The "bell" of the first line may i)e miswritten for "ball"; 
if not, I cannot guess its meaning. The manuscript is written in long 
lines, but there seems no reason to doubt that the text is really in the 
ordinary ballad meter, and it is so printed here. 

1 Lady Margaret sitting in a high bell room. 
Combing back her yellow hair, 

She spied sweet William and his brown bride 
Go passing down by there. 

2 Down she threw her ivory comb. 
Rolled back her yellow hair. 

'That's a life, that's a life that I never can endure. 
In my chamber I will die.' 

3 Lady Margaret was buried in the old church yard. 
Sweet William in the prior. 

From Lady Margaret's head grew a blood-red rose. 
And from sweet William's a milk-white brier. 

4 They grew to the top of the old steejily high 
And could not grow any higher. 

They tied themselves in a true lover's knot 
For all young people to admire. 



82 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

C 

'Sweet Willie.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of Mrs. 
Brown of Beech Mountain, Watauga county. Not dated, but secured 
probably about 1920. The language is puzzling in places. 

1 Sweet Willie he arose one morning in May, 
He dressed himself in blue. 

'Come tell unto me this whole long love 
Betwixt Lillie Margret and me.'^ 

2 'I know no harm of Lillie Margret 
And she knows none of me ; 

And on tomorrow's morn, before eight o'clock, 
Lillie Margret a bride shall see.' 

3 He mounted his horse, he rode with speed. 
He rode till he came to the door. 

There was nobody there for to let him in 
But his own dear brother John. 

4 'Where is Lillie Margret? Is she in her dining room? 
Is she in her hall? 

Or is she in her bed-chamber? 
Come tell unto me I call.' 

5 'She is not in her dining room. 
She is at home. 

For she is in her own coffin 
Which sits agin the wall.' 

6 'Unwrop, unwrop the winding sheet 
And lay the fine linen. 

That I may kiss her cold clay lips 
As ofttimes she's kissed mine.' 

7 The first that he kissed was her revely- cheek. 
The next that he kissed was her chin. 

But the last of all was her cold clay lips 
That had no breath in them. 

D 
Another version reported by Mrs. Sutton, but it does not appear from 
whom she got it. Only part of it is given, the rest summarized. 

I Lady Marg'ret sat at her bower window, 
A-combing her golden hair ; 
And there she saw sweet William's bride 
As they were riding near. 

' The opening dialogue, found in a good many texts, is between Wil- 
liam and Margaret's father. It is clear in Child's B but becomes obscure 
in many traditional texts. Here "me" should of course be "you." 

" See note on this word in 'The Lass of Roch Royal' B, stanza 15, 
below. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 83 

2 Down she laid her ivory comb 
And up she hound her hair ; 
She went into her bower 
And never more came there. 

3 'God give you joy, you lovers there, 
In bride-bed fast asleep; 

For I am gone to a grass-green grave, 
Wrapped in my winding sheet.' 

"In the verses that follow," Mrs. Sutton notes, "the groom dreamed 
of Lady iMarg'ret's death, and asked permission of his bride to go and 
see her. When he reached the bower he was greeted by seven brothers" : 

Then up and spoke her seven brothers, 
Making a bitter moan. 
'Go home and kiss your nut-brown bride 
And leave our sister alone.' 



Secured by Mrs. Sutton from Myra Barnett (Mrs. J. J. Miller) of 
Caldwell county, one of her major sources of ballad texts and tunes. 
The same, stanza by stanza, as version C above except for various 
minor differences of language. 



A fourth, fragmentary text obtained by Mrs. Sutton from a Mrs. Reid 
not further identified agrees with the first three stanzas of D above 
except that between the last two of those stanzas it inserts another 
stanza : 



When day was gone and night was come 
And all men fast asleep. 
There came the ghost of fair Margrit 
And stood at her love's feet. 



'Sweet William.' From the manuscript ballad collection of Miss Edith 
Walker of Boone, Watauga county, communicated in 1936. The first 
seven stanzas correspond, with some verbal variations, to the first seven 
of A above; after that it runs: 

8 'I dreamt a dream,' Sweet William said, 
'That troubles me in my head ; 

I dreamt my hall was full of wild swine 
And Lady Margaret was dead.' 

9 The night a-being gone and the day a-coming on. 
Most of the people were asleep, 

Sweet William asked leave of his own true love 
Lady Margaret he might go see. 



84 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

10 He rode till he came to Lady Margaret's gate, 
He dangled at the bell ; 

But none so ready as her own kind brother 
To rise and let him come in. 

11 'Where is Lady Margaret?' he said. 
'Is she in her dressing room, 

Or is she in the hall, or is she in her bright chamber 
Among the merry maids all ?' 

12 'She's not in her dressing room. 
Neither in the hall; 

She's a-lying in her cold cofifin 
That sets again yonder s wall,' 

13 'Unwind, unwind her winding sheet 
That's made of Hollands so fine ;^ 
Let me kiss her cold clay lips, 

For I'm sure she'll never kiss mine. 

14 'Today it's over Lady Margaret's grave 
And tomorrow it's over mine. 

I'll bid farewell to my kinfolks all ; 
It's all I've left behind.' 



Lord Lovel 
(Child 75) 

Possibly it is the very simplicity of the sentiment that has made 
this ballad so persistent a favorite; certainly it has little else (un- 
less, perhaps, the tune) to commend it. For its range since Child's 
time, both in the old country and in America, see BSM 52. To 
the texts there listed should be added Kentucky (BTFLS iii 92), 
Tennessee (SFLQ xi 124-5), North Carobna (FSRA 27-8), 
Florida (SFLQ viii 150-2), Missouri (OFS i 113-15). Ohio (BSO 
39-45), Indiana (BSI 79-91), and Michigan (BSSM 27-8). The 
texts vary but little, going back, perhaps in all cases, to a London 
broadside of a hundred years ago, Child's H. To the variations 
in the name of the church whose bells announce the death of 
the lady, some of which are listed in BSM, North Carolina adds 
one more, "St. Banner's" (version B below). For the most part 
the church is not named in the North Carolina texts ; Lord Lovel 
returns to "Cruel Clark's" (A), to "London Tower" (C), to "Lon- 
don town" (D F G) and hears the bells, but the church is not 
named. For an adaptation to the purposes of political satire during 
the Civil War, see volume 111, section ix. 

The texts are so much alike that only a few are given in extenso. 

^ The manuscript seems to read "That's made of Hull and so fire" ; 
but this is surely a miswriting — or perhaps a mishearing — of the line. 



A L L A D S — MOSTLY It K I T I S II 85 



"Lord Lovinder.' From the John Bell Henneman collection, made about 
the beginning of this century ; where, does not appear, but somewhere in 
North Carolina. 

1 Lord Lovinder at the stable door 
Rubbing down his steed. 

Up steps Lizzie le Dunciebell : 

'Lord Lovinder, I wish you much speed. 

2 'My father is an angry man, 
He has made one solemn vow : 
True lovers' own heart's blood to see 

3 'Well. I will go to Prince Harry's land 
And there I will remain. 

At the end of seven long years 
I'll turn unto you again, my love.' 

4 'Too long, too long, Lord Loving,' she said, 
'Too long to dwell alone 



5 He hadn't been in Prince Henry's land 
But space but half a year 

Before strange dreams run into his mind ; 
He thought on's love behind. 

6 He called to his awaiting boy 
To bring his milk-white steed. 
Also unto his little foot-page 
To bring him his bridle range.^ 

7 He rode, he rode till he came to Cruel Clarks ;- 
He asked how came strange bells to ring. 
'They ring for Lizzie le Dunciebell, 

An own true lover of thine.' 

8 He put his foot in the last stirrup. 
Looking on every side; 

There he spied six lily-white maids 
Burying his own true bride. 

9 'Oh. take her up, you lily-white maids, 
Oh. take her up,' says he. 

'That 1 may make one solemn vow 
Never to kiss none but she.' 
' Probably for "reins." 

- This may be a corruption of some name of a church, but what name 
the editor is unable to guess. 



86 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

lo First he kissed her red rosy lips 
At last he kissed her chin 



Where all hfs delight lay in. 

11 'O mother, dear mother, make my bed of sorrow, 

For 1 shall die tomorrow.' 

12 They bnried 'em both in the new church yard 



Out of her breast there sprung a red rose, 
Out 5f his a brier. 



13 They grew, they grew till they got to the top of the palings. 
They grew, they grew till they got together 
And there they remained for ever. 

B 
'Lord Lovel and Lady Nancy.' Communicated, with the tune, by Madge 
Nichols, a freshman at Trinity College about thirty years ago. Her 
text is much closer to the standard broadside text than Henneman's, 
but it has "St. Banner's bell" instead of "St. Pancras bells." 

C 

'Lord Lovel.' Communicated by R. Frank Brower of Durham in 1916. 
Given here as a representative text. 

1 Lord Lovel stood at the castle gate 
A-slicking his milk-white horse. 
When in came Lady Nancy Bell 
A-wishing her lover good speed speed speed, 
A-wishing her lover good speed. 

(Repeat thus the end of each stanza) 

2 'Oh, where are you going. Lord Lovel ?' said she, 
'Oh, where are you going?' said she. 

'F^ar countries for to see.' 

3 'When will you be back, Lord Lovel?' said she, 
'When will you come to me?' 

'In a year and a day, or three at least, 
ril return to my fair Nancy.' 

4 He hadn't been gone but a year and a day 
Far countries for to see 

When languishing thoughts came on his mind 
'Lady Nancy I must go to see.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 87 

5 He rode and he rode on his milk-white horse 
Till he came to London Tower 



And the people all mourning around. 

6 He ordered the coffin to be opened wide 
And the shroud should be undone ; 
And on his white pockethandkerchief 
The tears came trickling down. 

7 Lady Nancy she died as it were on today, 
Lord Lovel he died on tomorrow. 

Lady Nancy she died of a broken heart, 
Lord Lovel he died of sorrow. 

8 Lady Nancy was laid in the high churchyard. 
Lord Lovel was laid in the tower. 

And out of her grave there grew a red rose 
And out of Lord Lovel's grew a brier. 

9 It grew and it grew to the church steeple top, 
It grew till it could grow no higher. 

They twingled and twined in a true lovers' knot 
For all true lovers to admire mire mire 
For all true lovers to admire. 

D 
'Lord Level.' As sung for Mrs. Sutton by Mrs. Becky Gordon of 
Cat's Head, Saluda Mountain, Henderson county, in 1920 or thereabouts. 
Again a representative text, with the opening of the cofifin and the 
kissing of her clay-cold lips, but without the rose-and-brier ending. In 
her account of getting it Mrs. Sutton gives a most interesting picture 
of the region and especially of the ruins of a fine place built before the 
Civil War, when the South Carolina planters used to come up to this 
mountain country for the hot weather. Mrs. Sutton notes that the song 
was sung also by "Aunt Nancy Coffey, who lived in the Grandfather 
section of Caldwell," with the addition of a stanza after Lord Loven 
(as Aunt Nancy called him) tells how long he will be gone: 

'That's fur too long,' Lady Nancybelle said, 
'That's fur too long.' said she. 
'You're apt to furget Lady Nancybelle 
And take up with some other lady.' 

Aunt Nancy took a pessimistic view of the other sex. 



'Lord Lovel.' Another text of Mrs. Sutton's finding, sung this time by 
Mrs. Farthing of Beech Creek, Watauga county, who traced it back as 
a family memory to Revolutionary times. Upon Lord Lovel's query as 
to why Lady Nancy died, Mrs. Farthing commented : "He knew why 
she died. He just axed that to fool people. I bet he married somebody 
else in three months." This version lacks the closing stanzas, ending 



88 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

with Lord Lovel's query and the people's answer. One stanza is perhaps 
worth quoting : 

Lord Lovel he stayed one year and a day, 
One year and a day stayed he, 
When tired and worn, with a broke down steed, 
He came to his native countree. 



'Lord Lovel.' Contributed by Otis Kuykendall of Asheville in 1939. 
Eight stanzas. Lacks the rose-and-brier ending. 



'Lord Lovel.' Sent in by Charles Boyd Skinner of Duke University in 
1941 as sung by his grandmother "70 years ago." Nine stanzas, ending 
with the rose-and-brier formula. 



The Lass of Roch Royal 
(Child 76) 

North Carolina shares with many other regions of the United 
States a fondness for the "Who will shoe my pretty little foot" 
motive in love songs. These songs are separately considered in 
Vol. Ill, nos. 250, 253, 254, 302, 307. Only West Virginia^ shares 
with it the distinction of preserving a genuine version of the ballad. 
See Cox's headnote in FSS and Combs's text in FSMEU. Both of 
these are variants of one version, most nearly allied to Child's D ; 
and so are the two texts from North Carolina, both of which were 
secured by Miss Maude Minish before she became Mrs. Sutton. All 
four of the texts are clearly variants of one version, yet no two are 
identical. It is an interesting exercise in the ways of oral tradition 
to compare the four. One stanza — stanza 2 of A and the "chorus" 
of B — of the North Carolina texts is not found in any of the ver- 
sions in Child nor in those from West Virginia. It is found, how- 
ever, in some of the fragmentary folk lyric in North Carolina and 
elsewhere; see 'The Storms Are on the Ocean,' in volume III. 

A 
'The Storms Are on the Ocean.' Taken down on Buck Hill in Avery 
county in 1917 from the singing of "an old lady who lived up there and 
who varied her household duties with work in the mica mill at Plum- 
tree. . . . She sang it for me one night after a day's 'supervision' of 
the Buck Hill school had left me a little tired. ... It was not till 
she sang of the exchange of rings that I realized that here in mutilated 
form was some traditional ballad and I wrote it down by the light 

^ Among the songs using the 'Who will shoe my pretty foot' formula 
reported by Randolph from the Ozarks one (OFS i 120, from Arkansas) 
retains enough of the ballad story to be reckoned a version, I suppose. 
Only five and a half stanzas are given, but the informant's account of 
the story involved shows that it comprised most of the plot of the 
ballad. Morris's Florida text (FSF 278) does not tell the story. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 89 

from a 'lightard' knot in the fireplace. . . . There is very little record 
of where or how she learned this ballad. She wasn't very sure, but 
thought a Mrs. Carpenter had taught it to her, and it was commonly 
known in that section. I have never found the ballad elsewhere, though 
I have often heard the four verses that begin it, sung to various banjo 
tunes." This note was evidently written before Miss Minish found the 
B text. 

1 'Oh, who will shoe your little foot, 
And who will glove your hand, 
And who will kiss your ruby lips, 
When I'm in a foreign land? 

2 "The storms are on the ocean, 
The sea begins to roll ; 

The earth may lose its motion 
Ere I prove false to thee.' 

3 "Papa can shoe my little foot, 
And mama can glove my hand, 
And friends can kiss my ruby lips, 
Till you come home again.' 

4 'Your papa can shoe your little foot, 
Your mama can glove your hand, 
But no one can be your ])abe's father 
While I'm in a foreign land.' 

5 'Oh, if I had a sailing ship 
And men to sail with me, 
I'd go today to my true love 
Who will not come to me.' 

6 Her father gave her a sailing ship 
And sent her to the stand. - 

She took her baby on her lap 
And turned her back on land. 

7 She had not been at sea three months, 
I'm sure it was not four,^ 

Till she had landed her sailing ship 
Right at her true love's door. 

8 The night was black and the wind blew cold 
And her lover was sound asleep, 

And the baby in poor Annie's arms 
Began to cry and weep. 

* Combs's text has here "sand," but Cox's reading "strand" is clearly 
right. 

* The first two lines of this stanza have crept in from 'The House 
Carpenter,' i.e., 'James Harris.' They are not found in the other three 
texts. 



90 



NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



9 Long she stood at her true love's door 
And jingled at the ring. 
At last his mother rose from bed, 
But would not let her in. 

10 'Oh, don't you recall,' poor Annie said, 
'When we sat down to dine 

We stripped the rings from our fingers, 
And the best of the rings was mine ?' 

11 'Go way, go way, you bad woman. 
Go away from the door in shame. 
For I have got me another love 
And you can go back home.' 

12 Her true love rose from out his bed 
And to his mother said : 

'I dreamed fair Annie and her child 
Stood right beside my bed.' 

13 'There was a woman at the door 
With a baby in her arms. 

But I wouldn't let her in the house 
For fear she'd do you harm.' 

14 Oh, quickly, quickly rose he up 
And fast ran to the stand,^ 
And there he saw his fair Annie 
A-sailing from the land. 

15 And 'hey, Annie,' and 'hi, Annie,' 
And 'Annie, speak to me.' 

But the louder he cried 'Annie' 
The louder roared the sea. 

16 The wind grew loud and the sea grew rough 
And the ship was broke in twain. 

And soon he saw his old true love 
Come floating o'er the main. 

17 He saw his baby in her arms. 
Both tossed upon the tide. 

He wrung his hands and fast he ran 
And plunged into the tide. 

B 

'An Old Love Song.' Just when Mrs. Sutton got this text does not 
appear, but evidently it was after she heard A, for in the notes to that 
text she says that she has never found the ballad elsewhere. She got 
it from Jim Harris of Caldwell county, whom her father designated as 
a "jackleg preacher," living in "the Richlands, ... a cove dropped down 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 9I 

oflF the side of the Blue Ridge— poor, lonely, barren, but indescribably 
beautiful. . . . His wife is a poet. He told me she was. . . . She writes 
of religion — a harsh covenanting type, and her husband preaches of 
eternal damnation. The thing he liked about the old ballad was the death 
its heroine met. 'The wages of sin,' he said darkly." 

1 'Oh, who will shoe my little feet? 
And who will g^love my hand? 
And who will kiss my ruby lips, 
When you're in a foreign land?' 

Chorus:^ 

The Storms are on the ocean, 
The sea begins to roll, 
The earth may lose its motion 
Ere I prove false to thee. 

2 'Papa can shoe your pretty little foot. 
And mama can glove your little hand, 
And I will kiss your ruby lips 
When I come home again.' 

3 *I will get me a bonny boat 
And sail on the salt, salt sea ; 

For I must go to my own true love, 
For he will not come to me.' 

4 She took her young son in her arms 
And to his door she has gone. 

She knocked and cried and knocked again 
But answer she got none. 

5 'Go open the door, my old true love, 
Go open the door, I pray, 

For your young child that's in my arms 
Will be dead before it's day.' 

6 'Away, away, you bad woman. 
For here you cannot stay. 

Go drown yourself in the ocean deep. 
Or hang on the gallows tree.' 

7 'Oh, have you forgot, my old true love. 
When we sat at the wine? 

We changed the rings from our fingers, 
And I can show you mine. 

8 'And have you forgot, my old true love. 
The oath that you swore to me? 

* Dr. Brown notes on the manuscript : "Sung after the first verse and 
every third verse thereafter." 



92 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

The oath that was strong, and bound us both 
For the years that are to be?'^ 

9 When the cock he crowed and the sun come up 
And through the bhnds did creep, 
Then up he got, her own true love, 
And loudly he did weep. 

JO 'I dreamed a dream of my old true love. 
She lives across the sea. 
I dreamed she stood at my own front door 
A-weeping piteously.' 

1 1 Oh, he went down to the salt, salt sea 
And looked across the foam. 

He saw the boat of his own true love 
A-tossin' toward her home. 

12 He called her name and he stretched his arms; 
He begged her sore to stay. 

But the more he sobbed and the rfiore he wept 
The boat was further away. 

1 3 The wind blew hard and the sea got rough ; 
It tossed the boat ashore. 

His own true love the waves washed up ; 
Her babe was seen no more. 

14 Her pretty cheeks were ashy gray, 
And golden was her hair. 

But cold as clay was her rosy lips ; 
No breath of life was there. 

15 The first that he kissed was her revely^ cheek. 
The next that he kissed was her chin, 

But the last of all her cold clay lips. 
That had no breath in them. 



23 

Sweet William's Ghost 

(Child 77) 

This admirable ballad of the returning dead has rarely appeared 
in modern collections. Greig did not include it in his Last Leaves, 
nor is it reported anywhere in the Jourtial of the Folk-Song Society. 

* Dr. Brown notes : "I suspect the poet wife of this last line. It does 
not ring true." 

* This word has appeared earlier, in the C text of 'Fair Margaret and 
Sweet William.' Mr. Brewster in a letter to me suggests that it may 
be a corruption of "raddled," perhaps through such intermediate forms 
as "raddledy," "ruddledy." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 93 

Mrs. Flanders (VFSB 240-1) prints it as found in The Green 
Mountain Songster of 1823. Both Miss Karpeles and Mrs. Green- 
leaf found it sung in Newfoundland (FSN 2-6, BSSN 21-2; the 
latter has lost the motive of the return of the troth-plight). Davis 
(FSV 17) reports two texts found in 1936 in Nansemond county, 
Virginia. These are the only traces of it in recent tradition; and 
all are from this side of the ocean. Unfortunately the text found 
among Dr. Brown's manuscripts is without name of contributor 
or place or date. But there is, I think, no reason to doubt its 
authenticity. As will be seen, it is closest to the A version of 
Child, though it is by no means identical with that version. No 
tune seems to have been recorded with it. 

'Sweet Willy.' Although unsigned, there is reason to believe it is one 
of the contributions made by Mrs. Sutton. 

1 The dead man came to his true love's door 
And jingled at the ring. 

Loud he sobbed and loud he groaned, 
But she v^^ould not let him in. 

2 'Is that my father dear?' she said, 
'Or is it my brother John? 

Or is it my true love. Sweet Willy, 
From the salt sea come back home?' 

3 'Oh, Lilly Margrit, let me in. 
Pray let me in to thee 

And give me back your love and truth ; 
For I gave all mine to thee.' 

4 'You'll get no favors from me. Sweet Willy, 
Not nothing will I lend, 

Till you come in at my bower door 
And kiss me cheek and chin.' 

5 'When I come in thy door, Lilly Margrit, 
And I'll come in if I can. 

When I kiss again thy rosy lips, 
I am no earthly man. 

6 'My bones lie rotting in the sand 
Beyond this deep blue sea, 
And this is just my spirit, love, 
That's talking now to thee. 

7 'But I cannot rest in my lowly grave 
For thinking of my love. 

Pray give me back my faith and truth 
So I can go above !' 



94 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

8 She stretched out her Hly-white hand, 
She wished for to do her best. 

'Here is your love, you poor dead man, 
And God send you home to rest!^ 

9 'Is there any room at your head, Willy? 
Or any room at your feet? 

Or is there any room at your side 
Where I can get in and sleep?' 

10 'There's no room at my head, my love, 
There's no room at my feet. 

But there's room for you in my two arms 
Where you can get in and sleep.' 

11 Just then the rooster crowed three times; 
And loud did the lady cry, 

'My hour has come to meet my love ; 
I'm ready for to die.' 



24 

The Unquiet Grave 
(Child 78) 

This very effective bit of the lore of the returning dead is 
apparently modern ; none of Child's versions are of record earlier 
than the nineteenth century. It is still current in England, reported 
in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society from Herefordshire, Lan- 
cashire, Surrey, and Somerset, and by Miss Broadwood (English 
Traditional Songs aftd Carols 54-5) from Devonshire. It has not 
very often been found on this side of the Atlantic : Mrs. Greenleaf 
reports it from Newfoundland (BSSN 23-4), Herbert Halpert from 
New Jersey (JAFL Lii 53-4), Davis from Virginia (FSV 17), 
and Niles from Kentucky (MSHF 18-19). Most of the texts re- 
corded in recent years are very much alike, suggesting the influence 
of print, but Child makes no reference to broadside copies. Mrs. 
Sutton's text corresponds pretty closely to Child's A. 

The Restless Grave.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of 
Myra Barnett (Mrs. J. J. Miller) of King's Creek in the Brushies. 
Caldwell county, apparently in 1913 or thereabouts. Mrs. Sutton writes: 
"Back in 1913 when the first copies of her ballads were made she had 
not heard many songs that were not the possession of her ancestors 
when they settled in the coves of the Brushies. She had seen many 
'song books,' that is, religious song books, but of secular songs she 
knew only the traditional and homemade ballads." > 

I 'The wind blows cold, my own true love. 
And a few cold drops of rain. 

* Part of the story seems to be missing between stanzas 8 and 9, but 
there is no indication of a lacuna in the manuscript. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 95 

I never had but one true love ; 
In the cold grave she was lain. 

2 'I'll do as much for my true love 
As any young man may ; 

I'll sit and mourn by her grave side 
For [a] twelve-month and a day.' 

3 The twelve-month and a day has passed, 
The dead begins to speak. 

'Who is it sits at my grave side 
And will not let me sleep?' 

4 'Tis I, my love, sits by your grave 
And will not let you sleep. 

I crave one kiss from your clay-cold lips 
And that is all I seek.' 

5 'You crave one kiss from my clay-cold lips. 
But the call of death is strong; 

If you get one kiss from my cold lips 
Your time will not be long. 

6 ' 'Tis down in yonder garden path. 
Love, where we used to walk, 
The finest flower that's ever seen 
Is withered on the stalk. 

7 'The stalk is withered dry, my love ; 
So will our hearts decay. 

So make yourself content, my love, 
Till God calls you away.' 

25 

The Wife of Usher's Well 

(Child 79) 

This admirable ballad has lasted better in America, for some 
reason, and especially in the South, than in the land of its birth. 
See BSM 55-6, and add to the references there given Florida 
(SFLQ VIII 152-3), Missouri (OFS i 122-4), Ohio (BSO 46-7), 
Indiana (BSI 97), and Michigan (BSSM 146). All American 
texts belong to one version, with a strong religious coloring. The 
Nqrth Carolina collection has nine texts, but not all need be given 
here. 



'The Three Little Babes.' From the collection of Miss Isabel Rawn 
(later Mrs. T. L. Perry), communicated to the North Carolina Folklore 
Society in 191 5. The verse is rough. Miss Rawn did not indicate the 



96 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

source of the text. Who speaks in the first two lines of stanza 5 and 
in stanza 7 is not clear. 

1 There once was a lady, and she lived in Spain, 
And children she had three. 

She sent them away to [a] far-off country 
Oh, there for to learn their grammere.^ 

2 They hadn't been gone but a very short time. 
No more than a month or a day. 

Till death, cold death come a-sweeping along 
And swept those babes away. 

3 As soon as the news reached the mother's ears 
She clasp [ed] her hands and cried: 

'Oh, if there be a King in Heaven above, 
Please send them to me this night !' 

4 The night wore on ; near midnight come, 
And Christ was drawing near. 

Those three little babes come running home 
Right into their mother's room. 

5 'O mother, go and fix them a table 
And on it bread and wine.' 

'Come, eat and drink, you three little babes, 
Come eat and drink of mine.' 

6 'Take it off, take it off, take it off, mama! 
Take it off we pray ; 

For we see our Savior a-standing so near. 
And to him we must resign. 

7 'Oh, mother, go and make a bed 
And on it spread a clean sheet, 

And over the top spread a golden cloth 
For the three little babes to rest upon.' 

8 'Take it off, take it off, take it off, mama ! 
Take it off, we pray ; 

For we see our Savior a-standing so near. 
And to him we must resign. 

9 As the proud mother, with trembling hand, 
The winding of sheets renfolding,^ 

The three little babes in snow-white robes 
All by her side is garbeded. 

^ So spelled in the manuscript ; presumably a three-syllable word 
rhyming with "three." 

" So the manuscript. One suspects some notion about winding-sheets — 
but what? 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 97 

10 'Goodby, mamma ! Goodby, papa ! 
Fare you well, we say. 
For the gates of heaven are opening wide 
And we must enter in.' 



'The Lady and the Children Three.' One of two texts contributed by 
D. W. Fletcher of Durham in 1914. Observe that the entire experience, 
after the death of the three children, is represented as a dream, and 
that the child that speaks is a girl. 

1 Once there was a lady and a lady was she, 
She had some children — three. 

She sent them away to an orphan school 
To learn the grammar rule. 

2 They hadn't been gone but a very short while, 
Some about three months and a day, 

'Fore death, sweet death came hasting along 
And takend her babes away. 

3 The Christmas times were drawing near, 
The nights grew long and cold. 

She dreamed she saw her three little babes 
Come haste to their mother's fold. 

4 She fixed them a table of cake and wine, 
As neat as neat could be. 

'Come, eat, drink, my little babes 
Come, eat and drink with me.' 

5 'Neither can I eat your cake,' said she, 
'Neither can I drink your wine; 

For yonder stands my Savior dear. 
To him I must resign.' 

6 She fixed them a bed by the back side-room 
And on it spread a sheet. 

And on the sheet was a golden spread 
For these little babes to sleep. 

7 'Take it up, take it up,' said the oldest one, 
'Take it tip, take it up,' said she, 

'For every tear they shed for me 
Will wet my winding sheet. 

8 'Green grass, green grass grows o'er my grave. 
Cold pillars on my feet. 

What shall become of this wide wicked world 
Since when our sins began ?' 



98 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

C 

'The Three Little Babes.' Fletcher's second text is somewhat longer, 
lacks the intrusive orphan school, does not indicate the sex of the child 
that speaks, and presents the whole experience as a fact, not a dream. 
And it retains the idea that the tears of mourners incommode the dead 
in their graves. Dr. Brown notes on the manuscript that it can be sung 
to the tune of 'Barbara Allan.' 

1 There was a lady, a lady gay, 
And children she had three. 

She sent them away to the North Countree 
To learn their grammarie. 

2 They hadn't been gone but a very short time, 
Scarce three weeks and a day, 

When there came a sickness o'er the land 
And swept those babes away. 

3 When their mother dear came this to hear 
She grieved her heart awful sore. 

She cried, 'Alas ! What shall I do? 
Shall I see my babes no more? 

4 'There is a king who rules above, 
Who wears a heavenly crown. 

I pray the Lord will me reward 
And send my three babes down.' 

5 It was a-comin' near Christmas time, 
The nights were long and cold. 

When her three babes came running down 
To their dear mother's hall. 

6 She set a table before them then 
Spread o'er with bread and wine. 
Saying, 'Come and eat, little babes, 
Come eat and drink of mine.' 

7 'We cannot eat your bread, mammie. 
We cannot drink your wine, 

For in the morning by break of day 
With our Saviour we must dine.' 

8 She spread them a bed in her backmost room. 
Spread o'er with clean white sheets, 

And over the top a golden one, 
That they might soundly sleep. 

9 'Take it off, take it off, mammie, 
Take it off, we say again. 

A woe, a woe to this wicked world 
So long since pride began. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH yy 

10 'Cold clods He at our heads, mammie, 
Green grass grows at our feet, 

And the tears come running down your cheeks 
To wet our winding sheet.' 

11 'Rise up, rise up,' says the oldest one, 
'The rooster soon will crow. 

Oh, yonder stands our Saviour dear 
And to him we must go.' 

D 

'The Three Little Babes.' Sent in by Thomas Smith of Zionville, 
Watauga county, in March 1914. Corresponds stanza by stanza and 
almost word for word with C. 



'The Wife of Usher's Well' or 'Lady Gay' or 'Three Little Babes' 
Apparently known by all three names. Sent in with the tune in 1915 
or 1916 by L G. Greer of Boone, Watauga county. The text is the 
same as C. 

F 
'The Three Pore Little Children.' This Mrs. Sutton got from "Old 
Man Woodie" at Jonas' Ridge, Burke county, "a sort of preacher- 
blockader, who will argue his right to make whiskey all night." He 
was reputed to have been "a famous feudist just after the war, and 
probably a bushwhacker." Here again the return of the children is only 
dreamed. 

1 There was a lady lived near by, 
And babies she had three. 

She sent 'em away to a cold, cold land 
For to learn their grammaree. 

2 They had not been gone but about three months, 
I'm shore it was not four, 

Until there came a sickness to that cold, cold land 
And the babes rose no more. 

3 She prayed to Jesus in the heavens up above — 
He is wearin' of a golden crown — 

That he would send her three babes home 
Tonight or in the morning soon. 

4 It was about one Christmas time, 
When the night was long and cool. 

She dreamed she seen her three little babes 
Come running to their mother's room. 

5 She fixed the table with a fair white cloth 
And set on it bread and wine. 

'Come set you down, my little babes, 
And eat and drink so fine.' 



NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'We cannot eat your bread, our maw. 
Nor can we drink your wine. 
King Jesus won't let us go back 
To live up in heaven so fine.' 

She fixed a bed in the other room. 
On it was a clean white sheet, 
And on the top was a fancy quilt 
For to make them babies sleep. 

'Wake up ! Wake up !' says the oldest one, 
'Wake up, for it's near 'bout day ; 
And we must leave our mother's house 
And to Jesus fly away. 

'Green grass grows on our head, my maw. 
And green moss at our feet. 
The tears you've cried for us three babes 
Won't wet our windin' sheet.' 



'Moravian Song.' This text Mrs. Sutton found in Yancey county. "The 
singer was an old woman in the county home who had lost all trace 
of who she really was. She was known as 'Granny' and sang it in a 
cracked, quavering old voice. She called it 'Moravian Song.' I don't 
know why." Mrs. Sutton notes that she has found this ballad also in 
Henderson and Rutherford counties, but not in Caldwell. It differs 
from preceding texts chiefly in the closing stanzas, which run : 

7 The bed was fixed in the back room ; 
She made it long and wide. 

She spread her own cloak on the bed 
And she sat down beside. 

8 And then the red red cock did crow 
And up and crowed the grey. 

The oldest to the youngest said, 
'It's time we were away.' 

9 'Lie still, lie still a little while. 
Lie still but if we may, 

For when our mother finds us gone 
She'll go mad in the day. 

lo 'Green grass grows at our head, mother. 
And green grass grows at our feet. 
The tears you shed for your little babes 
Won't wet our winding sheet.' 

H 
'The Lone Widow.' Contributed by Mildred Peterson of Bladen county, 
but the manuscript is not dated. This is a reduced version, six stanzas. 
At the close the children tell their mother : 



ALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 



The tears you have shed, my mother dear, 
Would wet our winding sheet. 

I 

No title. One of the songs collected by Professors W. Amos Abrams 
and Gratis D. Williams in 1945 from Pat Frye of East Bend, Yadkin 
county. See headnote to 'Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight" G. A frag- 
ment only. 

'Come here, come here, my three httle habes. 
Come here, come here to me. 
Come here, come here, my three little babes, 
And eat and drink of mine.' 

'How can we come 

How can we come to thee, 

When yonder stands our Saviour dear 

To call us all away?' 

'Wake up, wake up,' says the oldest one, 
'It's getting almost day. 
How can we stay in this dark world 
When there's a brighter one for me?' 

26 

Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard 
(Child 81) 

For the fortunes of this ballad in America (where it has lasted 
much better than in the country of its origin), see the admirable 
discussion by Barry (BBM 150-94) ; and for its geographical range, 
see BSM 57-8 — adding to the references there given Vermont 
(NGMS 135-9), Kentucky (BTFLS in 95, TKMS 62-71), North 
CaroHna (FSRA 25-31), Missouri (OFS i 124-6), Ohio (BSO 
48-51), and Michigan (BSSM 46-9). In addition to Barry's evi- 
dences for a distinctive and early American tradition for this ballad 
may be mentioned certain traits common to all or most of the 
American texts, both north and south, and rare or absent altogether 
in Child's British versions. One of these is the expression "cost 
me deep in purse" when the lord is telling of his two swords. The 
only approximation to this in the Child versions is in A, from a 
seventeenth-century print : "Full deere they cost my purse." But 
in America it appears in more than a score of texts ranging from 
Nova Scotia and Maine to North Carolina and to Missouri, some- 
times in a corrupted form that shows the locution was heard but 
not understood, as in Cambiaire's reading "they cost me keep in 
purse" (ETWVMB 53). The expression sounds rather literary 
than dialectal, but it is a mark of the American texts. Another 
item peculiar to American texts is the form of punishment meted out 
to the lady by her injured husband". Nowhere in American texts do 



102 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

we find the savagery of Child A, "He cut her paps from off her 
breast"; but we do find, in texts ranging again from Nova Scotia 
to North Carolina and to Missouri, that he "split her head in twain," 
sometimes in a way to show that the locution was traditional but 
not understood: "cut her all up into twain" (TBV E), "split her 
head into twine" (SharpK B). The attempt of the lady by threats 
or bribery to prevent the page from carrying the news of her be- 
havior to her husband, found in Child CDEFHIJKL, does 
not appear in American texts. That the bugle is blown as a warn- 
ing by a friend of Musgrave's, a trait that appears in three of the 
texts in the present collection, is not exactly diagnostic ; it is found 
in C J L of the Child versions and may perhaps be inferred in 
some of the others; and it appears sporadically in American texts 
both north and south, e.g., in BBM Fa Fb, TBV B, SCSM A, 
FSRA, SharpK I J K, FSSH A B, BSM, and BSSM. 

A 
'Lord Daniel's Wife.' Written down by Thomas Smith of Zionville, 
Watauga county, from the singing of Bennett Smith, "who first heard 
it sung over 50 years ago" ; sent in March 1914 to C. Alphonso Smith, 
and later to the North Carolina collection. Stanzas 3, 7, 8 are metrically 
defective and stanza 18 excessive. 

1 Holly, holly, hoUiday ! 

The very first day of the year 
Little Mattly Groves he went to church 
God's holy word to hear, hear, 
God's holy v^ord to hear. 

2 The first to come down was a gay ladye, 
The next to come down was a girl, 

The next to come down was Lord Daniel's wife, 
The fairest of them all, all, all, 
The fairest of them all. 

3 On Little Mattly Groves she cast her eye. 
Saying, 'You must go home with me this night 
For to lie, lie, lie, 

You must go home vi^ith me for to lie.' 

4 'I cannot go,' Little Mattly said, 
'I cannot go for my life, 

For I see by the ring that you wear on your finger 
That you are Lord Daniel's wife, wife, wife. 
That you are Lord Daniel's wife.' 

5 'If I am Lord Daniel's wife. 
Lord Daniel's not at home ; 
He's gone away to old England 
King Henry for to see, see, see. 
King Henry for to see.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH IO3 

6 Little Swift-foot he was standing by ; 
He heard the news and he ran 

Till he came to the deep river side, 

And he took off his shoes and he swam, swam, swam, 

And he took off his shoes and he swam. 

7 He swam till he came to the high dry land, 
And he buckled on his shoes and he ran, ran, ran, 
And he buckled on his shoes and he ran, 

8 Till he came to the King's high gate; 

And he pulled at the bell till it rang, rang, rang, 
And he pulled at the bell till it rang. 

9 'What news ? What news ?' Lord Daniel said, 
'What news have you brought from home ? 
Has my wife gone to bed with a daughter, 
Or has she gone to bed with a son, son, son, 
Or has she gone to bed with a son ?' 

10 'She has neither gone to bed,' Little Swift-foot said, 
'With a daughter or a son. 

But has gone to bed with Little Mattly Groves, 
And that is why I have come, come, come, 
And that is why I have come.' 

11 Lord Daniel mounted his trusty horse 
And he rode till he came to his home. 

He entered and found Little Mattly Groves 
In bed with his wife in his room, room, room. 
In bed with his wife in his room. 

12 'How do you like my coverlets? 
How do you like my sheets ? 

And how do you like my gay ladye 

Who lies in your arms asleep, sleep, sleep, 

Who lies in your arms asleep?' 

13 'Very well I like your coverlets, 
Very well I like your sheets ; 
Much better I like your gay ladye 
Who lies in my arms asleep, sleep, sleep. 
Who lies in my arms asleep.' 

14 'Rise up ! Rise up !' Lord Daniel said, 
'And put your clothing on. 

It shall never be said in old England 
That I slew an unclothed man, man, man. 
That I slew an unclothed man.' 



104 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

15 'If I must rise up," Little Mattly said, 
'If I must fight for my life, 

I see you have two broadedged swords, 
And me not as much as a knife, knife, knife, 
And me not as much as a knife.' 

16 'It's true I have two broadedged swords, 
They cost me deep in the purse. 

You can have the best of them 

And I will take the worst, worst, worst. 

And I will take the worst.' 

17 The very first lick Little Mattly struck 
He wounded deep and sore ; 

But the very first lick Lord Daniel struck 
Little Mattly fell to die floor, floor, floor. 
Little Mattly fell to the floor. 

18 Lord Daniel took his wife on his knee, 
Saying, 'How do you like my rosy cheeks, 
And how do you like my chin? 

And how do you like Little Mattly Groves 
Who lies before you slain, slain, slain, 
Who lies before you slain?' 

IQ 'Very well I like your rosy cheeks, 
Very well I like your chin ; 
Much better I like Little Mattly Groves 
Than you and all your kin, kin, kin. 
Than you and all your kin.' 



'Little Mathey Grones.' From the manuscript songbook of Miss Edith 
Walker of Boone, Watauga county. Here we have the warning by 
Mathey's friend, the dialogue between Mathey and the lady in bed, and 
the head-splitting at the end. Stanzas 3 and 6 seem to be the result 
of telescoping two stanzas or parts of stanzas. Stanza 7 I have attempted 
to bring into order by some additions. "Grones" is quite possibly a 
misreading for "Groves." Stanzas 9 and 17 are imperfect metrically, 
and there is confusion in the assignment of speeches in stanza 11. 

1 To my hi, to my hi, to my hi holy day. 
To the very first day of the year, 

When Lord Arnald went down to King Henry's 
The Holy Word for to hear, hear. 
The Holy Word for to hear. 

2 The first come by was a gay ladee. 
The next come by was a gal. 

The next come by Lord Arnald's wife. 
She's the fairest of them all, all, 
She's the fairest of them all. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I05 

Oh, it's 'Come. Little Mathey, come,' says she 

'And go home with me tonight.' 

'Oh, no, I dare not for my life ; 

For I know by the gold rings on your finger 

That you are Lord Arnald's wife, wife. 

That you are Lord Arnald's wife.' 

'What if I am Lord Arnald's wife? 
Lord Arnald himself ain't at home. 
For he's gone down to King Henry's 
The Holy Word for to hear, hear, 
The Holy Word for to hear.' 

Oh, a little foot-page was a-standing by, 

And he took to his heels and he run ; 

He run to where the bridge was apart 

And he pitched to his breast and he swum, swum, 

And he pitched to his breast and swum. 

He run unto King Henry's gate, 

(And he rung both loud and shrill) 

And tingled (so) loud at the gate, 

And none was so ready as Lord Arnald his self 

To rise and let him in, in. 

To rise and let him in. 



7 '\yhat news, what news, O little foot page, 
\\'hat news you have for me ?' 

'It's Little Mathey Grones is home 
[In bed] with your gay ladee, [ladee], 
[In bed] with your gay ladee.' 

8 'If this be a lie you tell unto me, 
A new rope shall be made ; 

If this be the truth you tell unto me, 
My daughter shall be your bride, bride, 
My daughter shall be your bride.' 

9 Lord Arnald he gathered 
His men all in a row, 

And he charged them not one word for to say 
Nor nary horn for to blow, blow, 
Nor nary horn for to blow. 

10 But one of the men in the crowd. 
Who knew Little Mathey full well. 
He clapped his bugle to his mouth 
And blew both loud and shrill, shrill. 
And blew both loud and shrill. 



I06 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

11 'Lie still, Little Mathey, lie still,' says she, 
'And let me listen awhile ; 

For I think I hear Lord Arnald's bugle 
Blow both loud and clear, clear, 
Blow both loud and clear. 

12 'Lie down, Little Mathey, lie down,' says she, 
'And keep the cold from me ; 

For it's nothing but my daddy's^ little shepherd boy 
A-driving the sheep from field, field, 
A-driving the sheep from field.' 

13 To hug and kissing they did go, 
And likewise fell asleep. 

And in the morning when they wake 
Lord Arnald stood at their bed feet, feet. 
Lord Arnald stood at their bed feet. 

14 It's 'How do you like my bed,' says he, 
'And how do you like my sheet. 

And how do you like my gay ladee 
That lies in your arms and sleeps, sleeps. 
That lies in your arms and sleeps ?' 

15 'Mighty well do I like your bed,' says he, 
'Mighty well do I like your sheet ; 
Much better do I like your gay ladee 
That lies in my arms and sleeps, sleeps, 
That lies in my arms and sleeps.' 

16 'Get up. Little Mathey, get up,' says he, 
'And put your clothing on. 

For it never shall be said when you're dead and gone 
That I slain you a naked man, man, 
That I slain you a naked man.' 

17 'Oh no, oh no, I dare not for my life; 
For you have two broad swords 
And I have nary knife, knife. 

And I have nary knife.' 

18 'If I have two broad swords 
And you have nary knife. 

The best of them I'll give to thee 
And the worst of them I'll keep, keep, 
And the worst of them I'll keep.' 

19 The very first lick Little Mathey struck 
Lord Arnald was full sore. 

* Variant reading "papa's." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 10/ 

The very first lick Lord Arnald struck 
Little Mathey couldn't fight any more, more, 
Little Mathey couldn't fight any more. 

20 He took his gay ladee by the hand 
And set her on his knee : 

'Say, tell unto me which you love best, 
Little Mathey Grones or me, me, 
Little Mathey Grones or me.' 

21 'It's mighty well do I like your rosy cheeks, 
Mighty well do I like your chin. 

But very much better do I like Little Mathey Grones 
Than Lord Arnald and any of his kin, kin, 
Than Lord Arnald and any of his kin.' 

22 He took his gay ladee by the hand 
And led her to the lane ; 

He took his broad sword from his side 
And split her head in twain, twain, 
And split her head in twain. 



'Lord Daniel' or 'Little Mathigrew.' Sent in by L G. Greer of Boone, 
Watauga county, probably in 1913 or 1914. This text is nearer to 
B than to A, but differs interestingly from both in details. The manu- 
script is not divided into stanzas. 

1 It was on one day, it was on one day. 
The first day of the year, 

Little Mathigrew rode down to church. 
To see and to be seen. 

2 The first came down was a raven's wife,^ 
The next came down was a fair ; 

The next came down was Lord Daniel's wife ; 
She was the fairest there. 

3 She looked all around through every room ; 
She placed her eyes on him. 

Says 'You must go home with me this night, 
This livelong night to stay,' 

4 *I can't go home with you this night. 
This livelong night to stay. 

For the rings that's on your fingers, love, 
You are Lord Daniel's wife.' 

* Barry (BBM 181) supposes a like locution in one of his texts to 
be corrupted from "arrayed in white." 



Io8 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

5 'It makes no difference whose wife I am, 
To you nor no other man ; 

Lord Daniel's not at home tonight ; 
He's in some distant land.' 

6 The little foot-peg was standing by; 
He turned on his heels and he ran. 

He ran till he came to the bridge broken down ; 
He fell upon his breast and swam. 

7 He swam till he came to the other side ; 
He turned on his heels and he ran. 

He ran till he came to the Cane-Castle door. 
And he rattled at the bells and he rang. 

8 'What news, what news, my little foot-peg, 
What news have you brought unto me ?' 

'I've come to let you know that Little Mathigrew 
Is in the bed with your fairest dee.' 

9 'If this is a lie you have brought unto me. 
What I suppose it to be, 

I'll grease my rope from end to end 
And I'll hang you to a tree. 

10 'But if this is the truth you have brought unto me. 
Which you suppose it to be, 

I have but one daughter in this wide world, 
And a married bright^ you shall be.' 

1 1 He gathered his men all in a row, 
Says, 'Boys, now let's us go; 
And nary a man in this crowd 
Musn't let his bugle blow.' 

J 2 There was a man in this same crowd 
That knew Little Mathey well. 
He placed his bugle to his mouth 
And blew both loud and shrill. 

13 T must get up, I must get up, 
I must get up and go. 

Lord Daniel he is coming, love, 
For I heard his bugle blow.' 

14 'Lie down, lie down. Little Mathigrew, 
Lie down and go to sleep. 

For it's nothing but my father's little boys 
A-herding in their sheep.' 

* One expects "bride"; but the line is not easily construed if that 
reading is substituted. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I09 

1 5 They turned into each other's arms 
And fell into a sleep. 

And when Little Mathigrew woke up 
Lord Daniel was at his feet. 

16 'Get up, get up, Little Mathigrew, 
And put your clothing on. 

For it never shall be said when I am dead 
That I murdered a naked man.' 

17 T can't get up, I can't get up, 
I cannot for my life, 

For you have two bran-new swords at your side 
And I have nary a knife.' 

18 'Very well, I have two swords to my side, 
They cost me deep in purse ; 

You may have the best one. 
And I will take the worst.' 

19 Little Mathigrew struck the first lick, 
And slew Lord Daniel's soul.^ 

Lord Daniel struck the very next lick. 
And Little Mathey couldn't strike no more. 

20 He took his fair young lady by the hand 
And sat her on his knee. 

Says 'Which of us do you love the best, 
Little Mathigrew or me?' 



21 



'Very well do I like your red rosy cheeks. 
Much better do I like your chin. 
But I wouldn't give Mathigrew's little finger nail 
For von and all vnnr kin ' 



Dui 1 wouian i give iviatn 
For you and all your kin.' 



22 He took his fair lady by the hand 
And led her through the hall ; 

With his bran-new sword in his right hand 
Lord Daniel's wife's head did fall. 

23 The handle of the sword was against the wall 
And the point toward his heart ; 

Says 'Ain't this hard to the friends all around 
Lord Daniel and his wife has to part.' 

D 
"Lord Donald.' Secured by W. Amos Abrams, at Boone, from Mary 
Bost of Iredell county; just when does not appear, but some time in 

' If this line means what it seems to mean it is clearly wrong, for 
Lord Daniel is by no means dead at this point. Perhaps it should read 
"And smote Lord Daniel sore." 



no NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

the thirties. It is a peculiarly disordered text. The lady tells Little 
Mattly Groves that 

Lord Donald's by the river side, 
King David for to see. 

Little Mattly has more than one friend among Lord Donald's men : 

There are many Little Mattly Grove's friend, 

And many there his foes. 

One at the very head of the row 

Said 'I wish Little Mattly Groves a good will' 

He put his bugle to his mouth 

And blowed both loud and shrill. 

The husband's sarcastic challenge to the lovers is shoved forward into 
the dialogue between the lovers : 

'It's how do you like my feather bed, 
And how do you like my sheet, 
And how do you like my gaily days 
That I could lie in your arms and sleep?' 

'Very much do I like your feather bed. 
And very much do I like your sheet. 
But much better do I like your gaily days 
That you could lie in my arms and sleep.' 
Then they fell to hugging and kissing. 
And then they fell asleep. 

Lord Donald tells Little Mattly that his two swords "cost me deep 
in purse." At the end 

He drew his sword 

And in twain he split her head. 

He jumped on his horse 

And rode to London town, 

Saying he'd slew the prettiest little woman 

That ever walked the ground. 



'Lord Daniels.' From the collection of Mrs. Minnie Church of Heaton, 
Avery county, contributed in 1930. A somewhat vague text; the lady 
tells little Mathie Grove that 



My husband he is not at home, 
He's in some distant land ; 



the page becomes "little Pate foot" and is referred to by the pronoun 
"she" in stanza 4 but passes thereafter to the customary "he" ; the 
warning bugle is heard but we are not told that it was blown by a 
friend of Mathie Grove's ; the end introduces a new element : 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH III 

He took his lady by the hand, 
He led her in the hall ; 
He snapped a pistol in her breast, 
She fell by a special ball, ball. 
She fell by a special ball. 

'Go dig my grave on yonders hill, 
Dig it wide and deep; 
Bury Little Mathie Grove in my arms. 
Lord Daniels at my feet.' 

27 

Bonny Barbara Allan 

(Child 84) 

Of all the ballads in the Child collection this is easily the most 
widely known and sung, both in the old country and in America. 
Scarcely a single regional gathering of ballads but has it, and it has 
been published in unnumbered popular songbooks. See BSM 60-1. 
Mrs. Eckstorm in a letter written in 1940 informed me that she 
and Barry had satisfied themselves, before Barry's death, that as 
sung by Mrs. Knipp to the delight of Samuel Pepys in 1666 it 
was not a stage song at all but a libel on Barbara Villiers and her 
relations with Charles II ; but so far as I know the details of their 
argument have never been published. The numerous texts in the 
North Carolina collection may conveniently be grouped according to 
the setting in three divisions: (i) those that begin in the first 
person of Barbara's lover (or at least of the narrator), (2) those 
that begin with a springtime setting, and (3) those that begin 
with an autumnal setting. Of course those in group i may also 
have either the springtime or the autumnal setting. The rose-and- 
brier ending is likely to be attached to any of the texts. The 
lover's bequests to Barbara, a feature not infrequent in modern 
British versions but unusual in America, appears once in the North 
Carolina texts, in F. The first person of the lover commonly is 
dropped after the opening stanza, but in F it holds through four 
stanzas. Not all of the texts are given in full. 



'Barbara Allen.' Sent April 3, 1913, by Miss Lila Ripley Barnwell of 
Hendersonville, Henderson county, to the Charlotte Observer, and 
printed there shortly afterwards. Sung by her great-grandmother. Be- 
longs to the tradition of the English broadsides, Child's B, but is some- 
what reduced. 

I In Scarlet Town where I was born 
There was a fair maid dwelling 
Made every youth cry 'Well-away' 
Her name was Barbara Allen. 



112 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 All in the merry month of May 
When green buds they were swelling, 
Young Jimmy Grove on his death bed lay 
For the love of Barbara Allen. 

3 He sent his man unto her then, 

To the town where she was dwellin' ; 

'You must come to my master dear,' he said, 

'If your name is Barbara Allen.' 

4 So slowly, slowly she came up 
And slowly she came nigh him. 
And all she said as there she stood : 
'Young man, I think you're dying.' 

5 He turned his face unto the wall, 
And death was with him dealing. 
'Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all, 
Adieu to Barbara Allen.' 

6 As she was walkin o'er the fields 
She spied the corpse a-coming. 

'Lay down, lay down the corpse,' she said, 
'That I may look upon him.' 

7 With scornful eye she looked down, 
Her cheeks with laughter swellin'. 
And all her friends cried out amain, 
'Oh, shameful Barbara Allen !' 

8 When he was dead and laid in grave 
Her heart was struck with sorrow. 
"Oh, mother, mother, make my bed. 
For I shall die tomorrow. 

9 'Farewell,' she said, 'ye virgins all. 
And shun the fault I fell in ; 
Henceforth take warning by the fall 
Of cruel Barbara Allen.' 



'Barbara Allen.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection.* 

* During the years 1927-32 Mr. John Burch Blaylock, of Yanceyville, 
Caswell county, collected 274 songs from Caswell and adjoining counties. 
In December 1944 his collection was presented, through the efforts of 
Dr. W. Amos Abrams, to the North Carolina Folklore Society. From the 
whole number "about 112" were selected by Professor Hudson and added 
to the Frank C. Brown Collection. These 112 are referred to here and 
in later notes as the John Burch Blaylock Collection. — Ed. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH II3 

1 In Scarlet town, where I was born, 
There was a fair maid dwellin' 
Made every youth cry 'Well away!' 
Her name was Barbara Allen. 

All in the merry month of May 
When green buds they were swellin', 
Sweet William on his deathbed lay 
For love of Barbara Allen. 

2 And death is printed on his face, 
And o'er his heart is stealin' ; 
Then haste away to comfort him, 

lovely Barbara Allen. 

So slowly, slowly she came up, 
And slowly she came nigh him. 
And all she said when there she came : 
'Young man, I think you're dyin'.' 

3 He turned his face unto her straight, 
With deadly sorrow sighin' : 

'O pretty maid, come pity me — 
I'm on my deathbed lyin'.' 
If on your deathbed you do lie. 
What need the tale you're tellin'? 

1 cannot keep you from your death. 
Farewell !' said Barbara Allen. 

4 He turned his face unto the wall. 
And death was with him dwellin': 
'Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all. 
Adieu to Barbara Allen.' 

As she was walking o'er the field 
She heard the bells a-knellin'. 
And every stroke did seem to say : 
'Unworthy Barbara Allen!' 

5 She turned her body round about 
And spied the corpse a-comin'. 

'Lay down, lay down the corpse,' she said, 
'That I may look upon him.' 
With scornful eyes she then looked down, 
Her cheeks with laughter swellin'. 
While all her friends cried out amain : 
'Unworthy Barbara Allen!' 

6 When he was dead and in his grave 
Her heart was struck with sorrow. 
'Oh, mother, mother, make my bed. 
For I shall die tomorrow. 



114 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Hard-hearted creature him to sHght 
Who loved me all so dearly. 
Oh, that I had been kind to him 
When he was alive and near me !' 

7 She on her deathbed as she lay 
Begged to be buried by him, 
And sore repented of the day 
That she did e'er deny him. 
'Farewell,' she said, 'ye virgins all. 
And shun the fault I fell in. 
Henceforth take warning of the fall 
Of cruel Barbara Allen.' 

c 
'Barbara Allen.' Printed March 30, 1913, in the Charlotte Observer as 
sung to the contributor "years ago by Mrs. E. A. Crowell, who was 
then matron at the Western North Carolina Hospital at Morganton." 
It belongs to the same tradition as A, but the name of the town and the 
name of the lover are different and it has the rose-and-brier ending. 
Begins : 

At Stoney, Stoney, Stoney town there were three fair 
maids dwelling. 

There's one of them I call my own, by the name of Bar- 
bara Allen. 

Young Jimmy Grose on his death bed lay and sent his 
servant to her. . . . 

When she meets the corpse she weeps, not laughs : 

The more she looked, the more she wept, until she burst 
out a-crying, 

and it ends : 

Young Jimmie was buried m the church churchyard, and 

his love by the side of him. 
And out of his grave there grew a red rose and out of 

his love's a brier. 
They grew, they grew to the church steeple top and then 

could grow no higher. 
They tied themselves in a true lover's knot, both the red 

rose and the brier. 

D 
'Barbara Allen.' Contributed in 1923 by Miss Flora Marie Meredith of 
Durham. It is the same version as A but fuller, and is therefore given. 

I In Scarlet Town where I was born 
There was a fair maid dwelling, 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH II5 

And every youth cried 'Well aware/ 
Unworthy Barbara Allen !' 

2 In the merry month of May, 
When green buds they were swelling, 

Young Jimmie Grove on his deathbed was lying 
For the love of Barbara Allen. 

3 He sent his man into the town, 

To the place where she did dwell in, 
Saying, 'You must come to my master, 
If your name be Barbara Allen. 

4 'For death is painted on his face 
And o'er his breast be stealing ; 
I- haste away to comfort him, 

lovely Barbara Allen !' 

5 'If death be painted on his face 
What needs the tale he's telling? 
Yet little the better shall he be 
For bonny Barbara Allen.' 

6 So slowly, slowly she came down 
And slowly she came nigh him. 
And all she said when there she came 
Was 'Young man, I think you're dying.* 

7 He turned his face unto her straight, 
With deadly sorrow saying, 

Oh, pretty miss, come pity me, 
For I'm on my death bed lying.' 

8 'If on your death bed you do be, 
What needs the tale you're telling? 

1 cannot keep you from your death. 
Farewell,' says Barbara Allen. 

9 As she was walking o'er the field 
She heard the church bell knelling, 
And every stroke appeared to say 
'Unworthy Barbara Allen.' 

:o She turned herself around about 
And spied the corpse coming. 
'Lie down, lie down the corpse,' she cried, 
'That I may look upon him.' 

^ This looks like a folk-etymologizing of the archaic "well-a-way." 
* Probably an error, of hearing or writing, for "Oh." 



lib NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

11 With scornful eyes she looked down, 
Her cheeks with laughter swelling, 
And all her friends cried out 'Amen, 
Unworthy Barbara Allen.' 

12 When he was dead and laid in grave 
Her heart was struck with sorrow, 
Saying 'Mother, mother, make my bed, 
For I shall die tomorrow. 

13 'Hard-hearted creature him to slight 
Who loved me so dearly. 

Oh, had I been more kind to him 
When he was alive and near me ! 

14 'Farewell, farewell, ye virgins all, 
And shun the fault I did him ; 
Henceforth take warning of the fault 
Of cruel Barbara Allen.' 



'Barbara Allen.' As sung by Mr. or Mrs. C. K. Tillett, Wanchese, 
Roanoke Island, December 29, 1922. The text is much like D but it has 
"Scarborough" instead of "Scarlet" in line i, inserts stanza 5 of A 
after stanza 8, and the first half of stanza 7 of B after stanza 12. 

F 
'Barbara Allen.' Secured by Julian P. Boyd while principal of schools 
at Alliance, Pamlico county, from Duval Scott, one of his pupils. Ex- 
ceptional in that the first person of the lover is maintained through 
several stanzas and the lover makes a bequest to Barbara. 

1 It was one morning in the month of May 
When all the flowers were blooming, 

I fell in love with a fair young girl ; 
Her name was Barbara Allen. 

2 I courted her six months or more. 
Was about to gain her favor ; 

'Oh wait ! oh wait, oh wait !' she said. 
'Some young man's gained my favor.' 

3 I went right home, was taken sick. 
And sent for Barbara Allen. 

She came, she came, so slow she came 
To see her true love dying. 

4 When she came in, she said to me : 
'Young man, you are a-dying!' 

'One kiss, one kiss from your sweet lips 
Would save me, Barbara Allen.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH II7 

5 'If I knew one kiss would kill you dead, 
I would freely give you a hundred.' 

He turned his face to the milk-white walls 
And turned his back upon her. 

6 'Do you remember the other day 
When we were at the tavern ? 

You treated all those fair young girls 
And slighted Barbara Allen.' 

7 'When I am dead, look under my head 
And you will find two rolls of money. 
Go share it with those fair young girls, 
And share with Barbara Allen.' 

8 It was the next morning, when she woke up. 
She heard those death bells ringing; 

They rang so loud they seemed to say 
'Hard-hearted Barbara Allen.' 

9 She looked to the east, she looked to the west; 
She saw the cold corpse coming. 

'Oh, mother dear, come carry me home. 
For now I am dying. 

10 'Oh, mother, oh, mother, go make my bed! 
Go make it high and narrow ! 

Today Sweet William died for love. 
Tomorrow I'll die for sorrow.' 

11 They buried him in one church yard 
And Barbara in another. 

From his grave there grew a rose, 
And from hers there sprang a briar. 

12 They grew, they grew to the steeple top 
Till they could grow no higher ; 

They tied themselves in a true love knot, 
The wild rose and the briar. 



'Barbara Allen.' Secured by Mrs. R. C. Vaught at Oakboro, Stanly 
county. It is of the same general pattern as A and D, yet has so many 
differences in detail that it is given in full. 



I In yonder town where I was born 
There was a fair maid dwelling 
Made every youth to weal or woe ; 
Her name was Barbara Allen.' 



Il8 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 One day, one day in the month of May, 
When the green leaves were a-sweUing, 
Young WiUiam came from a western state 
And courted Barbara Allen. 

3 It was early in the month of June, 
When the flowers [were] a-blooming, 
Young William on his death bed lay 
For the love of Barbara Allen. 

4 He sent his servants through the town 
To the place where she was dwelling, 
Saying,, 'Love, there's a call for you. 
If your name be Barbara Allen.' 

5 Oh, slowly, slowly she fixed up, 
And slowly she came nigh him. 
The only words she said to him: 
'Young man, I think you're dying.' 

6 'Oh, yes, I'm sick and very, very sick 
And on my death bed lying ; 

But from thee, I'm sure to be, 
One kiss from you would cure me.' 

7 'You may be sick, and very, very sick. 
And on your death bed lying; 

But better for me, you'll never be 
Though your heart's blood were a-spilling. 

8 'For don't you remember the other night 
When you were in town a-drinking 

You drank a health to the ladies all around 
And slighted Barbara Allen?' 

9 'Yes, I remember the other night 
When I was in town a-drinking. 

I drank a health to the ladies all around. 
But my love to Barbara Allen.' 

10 He reached his hands from the pale bed sheet 
A-thinking for to touch her. 

But she jumped back, and then she said, 
'Young man, I will not have you.' 

1 1 He turned his pale face to the wall. 
And death was with him dealing. 
'Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all ; 
Be kind to Barbara Allen.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH IIQ 

12 Then she arose and left the room 
Where her true love was dying. 
And every tongue did seem to say 
'Hard-hearted Barbara Allen.' 

13 As she was walking o'er the fields 
She heard the death bell ringing. 
And every stroke did seem to say 
'Oh, woe to Barbara Allen.' 

14 As she was walking o'er the field 
She heard the birds a-singing. 
And every note did seem to say 
'Oh, turn back, Barbara Allen.' 

15 She'd not gone more than half a mile 
She saw the corpse a-coming. 

'Lay down, I pray, the corpse of clay 
That I may look upon him.' 

16 The more she looked the more she grieved 
Until she started crying; 

And then she kissed those tear-cold cheeks 
That she'd refused when dying. 

H 
'Barbara Allen.' Written down for W. Amos Abrams in 1939 by 
Miss Edna Milam of Milam. It is the same version as G ; but it has 
lost stanzas 4 and 10, has an intelligible reading in the third line of 
stanza 6 : "But better for thee I'm sure to be" ; has "dear cold cheeks" 
instead of "tear-cold cheeks" in stanza 16; and has the normal ending, 
lacking in G : 

15 'Oh, mother, mother, make my bed. 
Oh make it soft and narrow ; 

My true love's died for me today, 
I'll die for him tomorrow. 

16 'Oh, father, father, dig my grave. 
And dig it deep and narrow ; 

Young William's died for pure, pure love 
And 1 shall die for sorrow.' 

17 Oh she was buried in the old church yard, 
And William was buried by her ; 

Out of William's grave grew a red, red rose 
And out of hers a sweetbrier. 

18 They grew and grew to the old church tower, 
Till they could not grow any higher ; 

And then they tied in a true-lovers' knot 
And the rose wrapped round the brier. 



laO NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

I 

'Barbara Allen.' Collected by Kendrick Few of Durham in 1940 from 
Sidney Stovall, Buies Creek, Harnett county. It is almost exactly 
Child's B version. 

J 

'Barbara Allen.' From Miss A. M. Martin, time and place not given. 
This text begins something like C: 

Over, over w^as the town 
Where three fair maids were dwelling. 
There was but one I called my own 
And that was Barbara Allen. 

In the death-bed scene it has a stanza corresponding to the tenth stanza 
of G: 

He reached forth his pale white hand, 
Aiming for to touch her ; 
She slipped and danced all over the floor 
And says, 'I will not have you.' 

It has the rose-and-brier ending. 



'Barbara Allen.' Collected by W. Amos Abrams from Mary Bost of 
Statesville, Iredell county. The opening seems to have crept in from 
some other song: 

J. J. Smith and it is my name. 
New Alban is my station. 
This is my dwelling here, 
Also my respectation. 

Honor, Honor was the town 
Where there was three fair maids a-dwelling. 
There was but one that I called my own 
And that was Barbara Allen. 

After that it runs pretty regularly, ending with directions for her 
burial and the rose-and-brier stanzas. Just before the last two stanzas 
it has the following, found also in version J above and versions T and 
W below : 

Sweet William died on Saturday 

And Barbara on Sunday. 

The old woman died for the love of both — 

She died on Easter Monday. 



'Barbra Allen.' From W. C. Neal of Sparta, Alleghany county. Very 
close to but not quite identical with Child's B. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 121 

M 
'Barbary Allen.' Contributed by Charles R. Bagley of Moyock, Curri- 
tuck county, in 1915. A fairly normal text, though it lacks the charge 
that he slighted her at the drinking of toasts. When she meets the 
corpse she is scornful, "her cheeks with laughter swellin' " ; remorse 
comes later. This has not the rose-and-brier ending. 

N 

•Barbara Allen.' Collected in 1927 by L. W. Anderson from Alva Wise 
of Nag's Head, Dare county. Closely similar to L. 

All of the texts thus far listed begin in the first person. The re- 
maining texts do not, but open with a statement of the time of year; 
in 0-Y it is springtime, in Z-DD it is autumn. Otherwise the 
texts run much the same as in the preceding section, with a lesser 
range of variation. 



'Barbara Allen.' Reported by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga 
county, from the singing of Mrs. Julia Grogan. Text sent to C. A. 
Smith in 1914 and afterwards to the Brown Collection. 



r Early, early in the spring, 

When the flower buds were a-swellin', 
Sweet Willie he was taken sick 
For the love of Barbara Allen. 

2 He sent his servant to the town 
Where Barbara was a-dwellin' : 
'My master said for you to come 
If your name be Barbara Allen.' 

3 Slowly, slowly she came up 
And slowly she went near him, 
And all she said when she got there, 
'Young man, I think you are dyin'.' 

4 'Oh yes, oh yes, I am very low, 
And death is in me dwellin' ; 
No better will I ever be 

Till I get Barbara Allen.' 

5 'Oh yes, you are very low. 
And death is in you dwellin . 
No better will you ever l)e 
By getting Barbara Allen. 

6 'Don't you remember in yonder town 
Where you were all a-drinkin'. 

You drank to the health of the ladies round 
And you slighted Barbara Allen.' 



122 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 'Oh, yes, I remember in yonder town 
Where we were all a-drinkin', 

I drank a health to the ladies round 
And my love to Barbara Allen.' 

8 Slowly, slowly she rose up 
And slowly she went from him. 
'It's if you die, and die you must, 
You'll never get Barbara Allen.' 

9 She had not got a mile away 

Till she heard the death bells toUin'. 
And every stroke they seemed to say 
'Hard-hearted Barbara Allen.' 

10 She looked to the east, she looked to the west, 
And saw the corpse a-comin'. 

'Oh, lay him down, oh, lay him down 
So I may look upon him !' 

11 The more she looked, the more she sighed 
Until she burst out cryin'. 

And she cried until the day she died 
For the love of Willie Harrell. 

12 'Oh, mother, make my dying bed, 
And make it soft and narrow. 
Sweet Willie died for me today, 

I will die for him tomorrow.' 

13 Sweet Willie was buried in the new churchyard 
And Barbara buried beside him. 

Out of his grave grew a red rose bush 
And out of hers a brier. 

14 They grew till they reached the church top, 
And there they could grow no higher. 
And there they entwined in a true love knot, 
The rose bush and the brier. 

p 
'Barbara Allen.' From the ballad collection of Miss Isabel Rawn (after- 
wards Mrs. T. L. Perry), sent to Dr. Brown probably in 1915. 

I One morning, one morning in the month of May, 
The flowers they were blooming. 
Sweet William on his deathbed lay 
For the love of Barb'ra Allen. 



He sent his servant to the town 
Where Barb'ra was a-dwelling: 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 1 23 

'My master sent me here for you, 
If this be Barb'ra Allen.' 

3 Slowly, slowly she rose up 
And slowly she went to him. 

The very first words that she did say : 
'Young man, I think you are dying.' 

4 'Oh yes, oh yes, I am very bad off, 
But one sweet kiss will save me. 

Just one sweet kiss from the rose-red lips 
Of my dear Barb'ra Allen.' 

5 'Young man, young man, you are very bad oflf. 
And, yes, perhaps you are dying; 

But you cannot have the kiss you want. 
The one from Barb'ra Allen.' 

6 He turned his pale face to the wall 
And turned his back upon her. 
'Farewell, farewell to this old world. 
And adieu to Barb'ra Allen.' 

7 Slowly, slowly she rose up 
And slowly she went from him. 

She had not gone but a very short way 
Till she heard the death-bells ringing. 

8 She looked to the east and she looked to the west ; 
She saw his pale corpse coming. 

She covered her face with her two white hands 
And rushed home to her mother. 

9 'Oh, mother, go and fix my bed, 
Go fix it soft and narrow. 

Sweet William died for me today, 
And I will die for him tomorrow.' 

10 Sweet William was buried in the old churchyard 
And Barb'ra buried beside him. 

And it was out of his grave there grew a red rose 
And out of hers a brier. 

11 They grew^ they grew to the old church top 
And could not grow no higher. 

And there they tied in a true-lovers' knot 
With the red rose and the brier. 

Q 
'Barbara Allen.' Identical copies contributed to the Monroe (Union 
county) Journal in November 1916 by Miss Beulah M. Funderburk and 



124 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Mrs. H. C Trull. Agrees rather closely with P so far as that text 
goes, but adds some stanzas. In the deathbed scene (where he describes 
himself as "very, very sick" instead of "very bad off") she charges 
him with slighting her : 

'Do you remember the other night 

In the ball room dancing, 

You danced and flirted with the ladies around 

And slighted Barbara Allen.' 

'Yes, I remember in yonder town 

In the ball room dancing, 

1 danced and flirted with the ladies around ; 

But I still loved Barbara Allen.' 

And when she meets the funeral procession, instead of merely covering 
her face and rushing oflf to her mother she makes a speech: 

The more she looked the more she wept, 

Till she bursted into crying, 

Saying, "I might have saved that yoimg man's life 

If I had done my duty.' 



'Barbara Allen.' Contributed in May 1919 by Miss Monnie Lou Mc- 
Donald as sung near Lillington, Harnett county, by her grandmother, 
Mrs. John Allen McLean, whose father was born in England and whose 
mother was Irish. It was Mrs. McLean's favorite song. A reduced 
version of six and a half stanzas, but it still retains the rose-and-brier 
ending. 

S 
'Barbary Allen.' This text is among Mrs. Sutton's contributions. She 
does not say which of the many whom she heard sing it ("I have yet 
to find," she says, "a mountain singer who didn't know 'Barbary Allen' ") 
provided the text she gives ; perhaps it is a composite. The tune she 
gives is that to which it is sung in Caldwell county. The text is fairly 
full, thirteen stanzas, with no particulars that call for reproduction here. 
It has the rose-and-brier ending. 

T 
'Barbara Allen.' Contributed by Mrs. W. B. Swim of Texas to Pro- 
fessor J. B. Hubbell and by him given to Dr. Brown in 1928. As sung 
by Mrs. Swim's grandfather, who came from Missouri and lived many 
years in Van Zandt county, Texas. Since it seems to have no connection 
originally with North Carolina it should perhaps not be listed here. A 
normal text, eleven stanzas. 

U 

'Barba Allen.' Secured by Mrs. R. C. Vaught (then Miss Gertrude 
Allen) from Pansy Jordan, one of her pupils at the Oakboro school, 
Stanly county. A somewhat more regular text than G, secured at the 
same school. It begins : 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 12$ 

It was all in the month of May 
When all green buds were blooming. 
Sweet W'illiam on his death bed lay 
For the love of Barba Allen. 

Her charge that he slighted her at the drinking of healths comes after 

He turn[ed] his pale face to the wall, 
His back upon the ceiling. 

There is no tolling of the death-bell ; only 

As she was on her highway home 
She heard the birds a-singing. 
They sang so sweet they seemed to say 
'Hard-hearted Barbra Allen.' 

She looked at the east, she looked at the west ; 
She saw his corpse a-coming. 
'Lay down, lay down that corpse of clay 
That I may look upon him.' 

The union of the rose and the brier at the end is made the more 
miraculous by the fact that 

She was buried in one church yard, 
And he in another; 

and the rose springs from Barbra's grave, the brier from William's, 
contrary to the way it is in most texts, where the brier (no doubt in its 
American sense) is assigned to Barbara in token of disapprobation, the 
rose to William. 



'Barbara Allen.' Contributed by Otis Kuvkendall of Asheville in 1939. 
A much abbreviated text, six stanzas; but it keeps the rose-and-brier 

ending. 

W 

'Barbara Allen.' Obadiah Johnson of Crossnore, Avery county, con- 
tributed three texts in July 1940. They are pretty much alike yet have 
some interesting dififerences. Two of them are given here, with nota- 
tions of some of the variant readings of the third. First, the fullest 
form. 

1 Early, early in the spring 

When the spring buds were a-swelling, 
Sweet William Gray on his death bed lay 
For the love of Barbra Allen. 

2 He sent his servant to her town, 
He sent him to her dwelling. 

Saying, 'Here's a message for the lady fair 
If your name be Barbra Allen.' 



126 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 Slowly, slowly she got up, 
And slowly she went to him. 

But all that she said when she got there : 
'Young man, I think you're dying.' 

4 *Oh, yes, I'm sick, I'm very sick 
And death is nigh me dwelling, 
But never no better will I ever be 
Till I get Barbra Allen.' 

5 'Oh, yes, you're sick, you're very sick, 
And death is nigh you dwelling; 
But never no better will you ever be, 
For you can't get Barbra Allen. 

6 'Do you remember in yonders town, 
When we were all a-drinking, 

You handed wine to the ladies all 
But you slighted Barbra Allen.' 

7 'Yes, I remember in yonders town, 
When we were all a-drinking, 

I handed wine to the ladies all 
But my love to Barbra Allen.' 

8 He turned his pale face to the wall, 
He turned his back upon them. 

'Adieu, adieu, fair friends, to all ; 
Be good to Barbra Allen.' 

9 Slowly, slowly she got up 
And slowly she went from him. 

She had not gone but a mile in town 
Till she heard his death bell tolling. 

10 She looked to the east, she looked to the west. 
She saw his cold corpse coming. 

'Hand me down, hand down that corpse of clay 
That I may gaze upon him.' 

11 The more she gazed, the more she wept, 
Till she burst out in sorrow : 

'There's a young man that I could have saved 
If I had done my duty. 

12 'Mother, O mother, go make my bed, 
Make it both long and narrow ; 
Sweet William died for me today, 
I'll die for him tomorrow. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I27 

13 'Father, O father, go dig my grave, 
Dig it both long and narrow ; 
Sweet WilHam died for nie in love, 
I'll die for him in sorrow.' 

14 Sweet William died on Saturday eve 
And Barbra died on Sunday ; 

Her mother died for the love of both ; 
She died on Easter's Monday. 

15 They buried William in one church yard 
And Barbra in another ; 

And from his grave there sprang a rose 
And from her grave a brier. 

16 They grew to the top of the old church tower 
Till they could grow no higher ; 

They wrapped and tied in a true love's knot; 
The rose clung to the brier. 

X 

'Barbara Allen.' Johnson's second version differs from the first chiefly 
in the following particulars : It omits stanzas 4 and S ; in place of stanza 
9 it has 

She walked and walked on through the town, 
She heard his death-bell ringing. 
And every stroke they seem to say 
'O cruel Barbara Allen !' 

and stanzas 11 is less moralistic: 

The more she looked the more she grieved. 
She burst out crying, saying 
'Pick me up and carry me home. 
For I feel like I am dying.' 

(Johnson's third text reverts here to the moralizing form.) In stanzas 
12 and 13 the positions of "today" and "in love" are transposed; stanza 
14 is omitted; and at the close her grave produces a rose and Wil- 
liam's a brier as in U, instead of the other way about as it should be 
(his third text agrees here with his first). 

Y 

'Barbara Allen.' Secured by L. W. Anderson in 1927 from Mildred 
Scarborough of Duck, Dare county. Differs from other texts by intro- 
ducing a new second stanza : 

He courted her six months or more 
And thought to gain her favor ; 
But .she said to him, 'Let's wait a while. 
For a young man's mind will wither.' 



126 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

and in the savagery with which she finally rejects him (stanza s) : 

She said, 'If I knew one sweet kiss would kill you 
I'd gladly give you a thousand.' 

As in U, the rose springs from Barbara's grave, the brier from William's. 

Versions with an autumnal opening, which seem to go back to 
Child's A version, are much less frequent than those with a spring- 
time setting. 



'Barbara Ellen.' From the manuscript ballad book of Miss Lura Wag- 
oner of Vox, Alleghany county, dated October 30, 191 1. 

1 It was the fall season of the year. 
The yellow leaves were falling. 
Sweet William was taken sick 
For the love of Barbara Ellen. 

2 He sent a message to the town, 
The town where she was dwelling : 

'Your true lover's sick and sent for you to come, 
If your name be Barbara Ellen.' 

3 Slowly, slowly she rose up 
And slowly she went to him 

And drew the curtain from around his bed : 
'Young man, I think you are dying.' 

4 'Yes, I'm low, I'm low,' says he, 
'And death's in me dwelling; 
But never better will I be 

Till I get you, Barbara Ellen.' 

5 'Don't you remember last Tuesday night. 
The town where we were dwelling. 

You treated all those ladies kind 
But slighted Barbara Ellen?' 

6 'Yes, I remember last Tuesday night. 
The town where we were dwelling, 

I treated all those ladies kind 
And slighted Barbara Ellen.' 

7 'Yes, you are low, you are low,' says she. 
And death is in you dwelling. 

And never better will you be 
By getting me, Barbara Ellen.' 

8 He turned his pale face to the wall ; 
She whirled her back upon him. 



OLDER K A L L A D S MOSTLY BRITISH 1 29 

'Adieu, adieu to all my friends, 
Adieu to Barbara Ellen.' 

9 As she went walking down the town 
She heard the death bells ringing ; 
And as it rang it seemed to say 
'Hard-hearted Barbara Ellen.' 

10 She looked to the east, she looked to the west. 
She saw his coffin coming. 

'Lay down, lay down this fair young man 
And let me gaze upon him.' 

1 1 The more she looked the more she wept. 
At last she burst out crying : 

'Take away this fair young man, 
For surely I'm dying.' 

12 They carried him to the old church yard, 
And there they buried him. 

They buried his true lover by his side, 
W'hose name was Barbara Ellen. 

13 'Mother, mother, go make my bed, 
Make it both soft and narrow ; 
Sweet William died for me in love. 
I'll die for him in sorrow. 

14 'Father, father, go dig my grave, 
Dig it both deep and narrow ; 
Sweet William died for me today, 
I'll die for him tomorrow.' 

15 Out of his grave sprang a red rose 
And out of hers a brier. 

They tied together in a true love's knot. 
The red rose and the brier. 

AA 
'Barbra Allen.' Collected by C. B. Houck of Todd, Ashe county, appar- 
ently from Maude S. Colvord of Jefferson in the same county, December 
30, 1919. The air accompanying this text was furnished by C. E. Buck- 
ner, Jr., of Asheville, who knew it from his mother, who had learned 
it in Madison county. It is substantially the same text as Z but shows 
some minor variations. Line 3 of stanza 2 runs : 

Saying, 'Rise you up for your true love calls.' 

Stanzas 4 and 7 of Z are combined : 

'I am low, I am low, I know indeed, 
And death is in me dwelling.' 



130 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'No better will you ever be 
By getting Barbra Allen.' 

William defends himself against the charge of slighting Barbra at the 
drinking instead of meekly acknowledging it as he does in Z. In stanza 
ID it has the more customary "corpse" where Z has "coffin." It omits 
stanza ii of Z, and the last four stanzas are differently arranged: 

*Oh, papa, go and dig my grave, 
Go dig it deep and narrow ; 
My true love died for me today, 
I will die for him tomorrow. 

*Oh, mama, go and make my bed, 
Go make it soft and narrow ; 
Sweet William died for me today 
And I must die for him tomorrow.' 

They took him to the new church yard 
And there they buried him. 
They placed his true love by his side — 
Her name was Barbra Allen. 

And out of his grave there grew a rose. 
And out of hers a brier ; 
They grew till they tied into a true love knot, 
The rose around the brier. 



'Barbara Allen.' Contributed by Mrs. R. C. Vaught in 1935 from 
Taylorsville, Alexander county. It is Child's A version verbatim except 
that it has "slowly, slowly" instead of "hooly, hooly" in stanza 3. 

CC 
'Barbara Allen.' Secured by Kendrick Few of Durham in June 1940 
from Sidney Stovall of Buies Creek, Harnett county. This again is 
Child's A text verbatim et literatim except that it omits stanza 6. At 
the end of the manuscript is this note: "There is another version that 
goes like this, but has two extra verses. One of them I have forgot, 
but it's something about being buried in the graveyard by a grey stone 
church. The last verse goes like this : 

Out of his grew a lily white rose 
And out of hers a briar, 
And there they twined a true love knot. 
The rose around the briar." 

These last two texts (BB and CC) are probably explained by what 
Professor White tells me of Dr. Brown's method of stimulating re- 
search for ballads. He would mimeograph texts of ballads and dis- 
tribute them to students and others, asking if they knew these songs. 
Frequently they did, and returned the sheet with the information that 
they laiew the song. Thus this returned sheet would get into the files 
as evidence that such and such a person could furnish a version of such 
and such a song; but for some reason the version was not secured. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I3I 

DD 

'Barbara Ellen.' Secured from Miss Bonnie Ethel Dickson of Helton, 
Ashe county. A full normal text with the autumn setting, thirteen 
stanzas. 

EE 

'Barbaree Allen.' One of the songs collected by Professors W. Amos 
Abrams and Gratis D. Williams of the Appalachian State Teachers Col- 
lege in 1945 from Pat Frye of East Bend, Yadkin county. See head- 
note to 'Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight' G. Nine stanzas. Does not 
begin in the first person, and makes no mention of the time of year. 
She is overcome with remorse when she meets "them corpse." Rose- 
and-brier ending. 

There is in the Collection a sheet, sent probably by I. G. Greer 
of Boone, on which is written a tune set to the first stanza of 
'Barbara Allen' and the stanza of 'Lord Thomas and Fair Annet' 
in which Thomas asks his father and mother whether he shall marry 
Eleanor or the brown girl. Which means, one supposes, that they 
are sung to the same tune, not that the two ballads are contaminated. 

28 

Lady Alice 
(Child 85) 

Child remarks that "this little ballad ... is a sort of counter- 
part to 'Lord Lovel' " ; and perhaps it is the simplicity of its senti- 
ment that accounts for its popularity. It appears in Halliwell's 
Nursery Rhymes of England and in Miss Mason's Nursery Rhymes 
and Country Songs, and it is reported as traditional song in Hamp- 
shire (JFSS III 299-302), a version not belonging to any of Child's 
five texts though known in America. On this side of the Atlantic 
it seems to belong especially to the Southern states; Barry (BBM 
452-3) found a sea captain who recognized Child's C version as 
something he had heard sailors sing but did not know himself, the 
two-stanza fragment reported from Wisconsin is confessedly a 
Kentucky memory, and the two stanzas reported from Michigan 
(BSSM 53), one about the turtle dove and one giving directions 
for burial, are merely floating items of folk lyric and do not belong 
especially to 'Lady Alice' (Bayard has some texts collected in 
Pennsylvania [JAFL Lviii 76] but does not print them). But the 
song is well known in the South: in Virginia (TBV 346-53, FSSH 
90, SCSM 118-22), West Virginia (FSS 1 10-14, JAFL lviii 75-6), 
Kentucky (FSKM 8-9), Tennessee (ETWVMB 76, SharpK i 198, 
FSSH 89), North Carolina (SharpK i 196-9, SSSA 47, BMFSB 
2-3, FSRA 33), South Carolina (SCB 142-3), Mississippi (FSM 
107-11), and Arkansas (OFS 1 135-40). ^ The texts fall into three 
fairly distinct groups: (i) those belonging to the tradition of 
Child B, in which the man's mother prepares gruel for him, his 
lady-love is mending her coif, when she sees the funeral procession 
approaching she bids the six bearers set down the coffin and de- 

^ For Florida see FSF 291-4. 



132 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

clares that her body shall be buried beside his, and a lily grows 
out of his grave and touches the lady's breast but is presently 
blasted by a northeast wind; (2) texts not very close to any of the 
Child versions, in which Collins comes home one night, is taken 
sick, and dies, with no mention of his mother or of water-gruel; 
his sweetheart Alice (Annice, Annis, Mary), sewing her silk so 
fine, hears of it, follows him up and follows him down (not in any 
of the Child versions) until she comes up with the funeral proces- 
sion, bids the bearer unscrew the coffin lid that she may kiss the 
cold lips that "will never kiss mine," and when her mother remon- 
strates that "there are other young men" replies that George has 
her heart. In texts of this type the man never gives directions for 
his burial as he does in texts of the third type, and the song ends 
with a stanza about the lonesome dove, not about the lily and the 
northeast wind. This is by far the commonest form of the ballad 
in America. Type (3), exemplified by the Hampshire texts and 
by texts from Virginia and West Virginia (but not by any texts 
from North Carolina), is quite different from any of the Child 
versions.^ Here Collins, riding out one fine morning, sees "a fair 
pretty maid" ("his own true love," "his own fair Ellen," "his 
Eleanor dear") washing her "marble stone"; she calls him to her 
("whooped and holloed," "screamed and cried") and tells him that 
his life will not be long. When he leaves her he rides (more often 
swims, for this pretty maid is a creature of the water, a water- 
banshee in Bayard's reconstruction of the story) home, bids his 
father let him in, his mother make his bed, his sister (in the Hamp- 
shire texts) bind his head; before he dies he orders that he be 
buried "under that marble stone that's against fair Helen's hall." 
When she meets the corpse she bids her maid bring "the sheet 
that's wove with a silver twine" (sometimes called directly the 
shroud) to hang over his head "as tomorrow it shall hang over 
mine," and kisses "his lily-white lips. For ten thousand times he 
has kissed mine." The news travels to London town (in the 
Hampshire texts; Dublin town, FSS ABE; Douglas's town, JAFL 
LViii 76; simply "down," TBV A), where six pretty maids die in 
one night for George (or Johnny) Collins's sake. In this version 

^ So much so as to prompt Barbara M. Cra'ster (JFSS iv 106-9) to 
suggest that the ballad is really a fairy mistress (or mermaid) story of 
the type of 'Clerk Colvill' (Child 42). Later (JAFL lviii 73-103) 
Samuel P. Bayard re-examined the whole problem in its connection with 
the various forms, continental as well as British, of the Clerk Colvill 
story and concluded that in the Johnny Collins (our type 3) form of the 
story the woman in it is a banshee and the ballad is the result of an 
Irish working over of the Clerk Colvill story (though it has not been 
found in Irish tradition unless we reckon the texts from West Virginia 
and Pennsylvania, where there was a considerable Scotch-Irish element 
among the early settlers, as Irish). Still later (JAFL lx 265-86) 
Harbison Parker canvasses Bayard's arguments and tries to show that 
the woman in the case is not a banshee but a mermaid and that the 
elves of the Scandinavian form of the story were changed into mermaids 
in Shetland and Orkney tradition, which knows mermaids and selkies 
but not elves — though he can allege no versions of the ballad from the 
Shetlands or the Orkneys. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I33 

it seems pretty clear that Collins's death is in some way connected 
with the lady — who nonetheless grieves over it. The version is 
represented in America by TBV A B, FSS ABE, and by Bay- 
ard's findings in West Virginia and Pennsylvania; it does hot 
occur in the North Carolina collection, 

A 
'Giles Collins.' Contributed by K. P. Lewis in 1914 from the singing 
of his grandfather, Dr. Kemp P. Battle of Chapel Hill. As will be 
seen, it is almost verbatim Qiild's B version. But so are the A and D 
versions in the Mississippi collection, whose authenticity is amply 
vouched for. The hyphens in stanzas 1-4 and the spelling loife in stanza 
3 are doubtless intended to show the way the words are sung. 

1 Giles Collins he said to his old mo-ther, 
'Oh, mother, come bind up my head, 
And send for the parson of our parish. 
Or tomorrow, I shall be dead, be dead, 
Tomorrow I shall be dead !' 

2 His mother she made him some water gruel, 
And stirred it with a spoon ; 

Giles Collins he drank the water gru-el 
And died before 'twas noon, 'twas noon. 
And died before 'twas noon. 

3 Lady Anna was sitting at her win-dow, 
A-mending her nightrobe and coif. 

She saw the very prettiest corpse 
She ever had seen in her loife. 
She ever had seen in her loife. 

4 'What bear ye there, ye six strong men. 
Upon your shoulders so high?' 

'We bear the body of Giles Col-lins, 
Who for love of you did die, did die, 
Who for love of you did die.' 

5 'Set him down, set him down!' Lady Anna she cried, 
'On the grass that grows so green ; 

Or tomorrow, ere the clock strike nine, 
My body must lie by hisn, by hisn, 
My body must lie by hisn !' 

6 Lady Anna was buried in the east 
And Giles Collins in the west ; 
There grew a lily from Giles Collins 

And touched Lady Anna's breast, her breast. 
That touched Lady Anna's breast. 

7 There blew a cold north-easterly wind, 
Which cut that lily in twain ; 



[34 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Which never was there seen before, 
And never shall be again, again, 
And never shall be again. 



'George Collins.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. 

1 George Collins drove home one cold winter night, 
George Collins drove home so far ; 

George Collins drove home one dark stormy night. 
And was taken sick and died. 

2 Mis^ Mary was sitting in yonder hall, 
And sewing her silk so fine ; 

But when she heard that George was dead, 
She laid her sewing aside. 

3 She followed him up, she followed him down, 
She followed him to his grave ; 

And there she knelt on bended knees ; 
She wept, she mourned, she prayed. 

4 'Unscrew the cofiin, lay back the lid. 
Take ofif the linen so fine ; 

That I may kiss his cold, pale cheeks, 
For I am sure he'll never kiss mine.' 

5 *Oh, daughter, oh, daughter, why do you weep so? 
There are plenty more boys besides George.' 

'Oh, mother, oh, mother, George has my heart. 
And now he's dead and gone. 

6 'Oh, don't you see that lonely dove 
A-sitting on yonder pine ? 

He's mourning for his own true love 
Just as I mourn for mine. 

7 'The happiest moments I ever spent, 
I spent them by his side ; 

The saddest words I ever heard 
Was the night George Collins died.' 

c 
'Song Ballad of George Collins.' Collected in 1938 by W. Amos Abrams 
from a manuscript written in 1912 by Alice Moody of Vilas, Watauga 
county. Substantially the same as B except that it lacks the last half 
of stanza 3 and all of stanza 7. 

D 
'George Collins.' Sung and written down March 9, 191 5, by D. E. 
Holder, living eight miles from Durham. A crow stanza is added and 
the address to the coffin bearers shifted to the last place. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 135 

1 George Collins rode home one cold winter night, 
George Collins rode home so gay ; 

George Collins rode home one cold winter night. 
Was taken sick, and died. 

2 Mary was setting in yonder bower, 
Sewing her silk so fine ; 

And when she heard of Georgie's death 
She laid her silk aside. 

3 Her mother says, 'Daughter, what makes yon weep so? 
There's plenty more boys besides George.' 

'I know, but, dear mother, George has my heart. 
Now George is dead and gone. 

4 'Now don't you see that lonesome dove 
Setting in yonders pine 
A-moaning for his own true love? 
Why not me mourn for mine ? 

5 'The blackest crow that ever flew 
Will surely turn to white 

If ever I prove false to mv love 
Bright days will turn to night. 

6 'Unscrue. take oflf the coffin lid 
And lay back the linen so fine, 

And let me kiss his pale cold cheek ; 
For I know he will never kiss mine.' 

E 
'George Collins.' Reported by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga 
county, May i, 1915, with the following notation: "The above song was 
obtained for me by Sherman Grogan from his sister, Mrs. Sallie Eggers, 
of Zionville (Route i). Mrs. Eggers learned the song from a cousin 
nf her husband's, a Miss Bertha Warren, about twelve years ago. Mrs. 
Marjory Wilson of Zionville (Route i) sang part of the song to me a 
few days ago. She (Mrs. Wilson) learned the song from her sister, 
Miss Bertha Warren, who she thinks learned it about fifteen years ago 
from a picture-agent who was stopping at their home." Differs from 
the preceding by lacking the dove stanza as well as the crow stanza, but 
chiefly in that the first two lines seem to be in the first person of 
George's beloved. Or are they? The construction is puzzling; "come" 
may be a past tense. Being uncertain of the meaning, the editor has 
refrained from putting the opening lines in quotation marks, leaving the 
reader to make his own interpretation. 

T George Collins come home one cold winter night, 
George Collins come home, I cried ; 
George Collins come home one cold winter night. 
Was taken down sick and died. 



136 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 Pretty Mary was sitting in yonders room 
Sewing her silk so fine, 

Pretty Mary was sitting in yonders room 
When she heard that poor George was dying. 

3 She followed him up, she followed him down, 
She followed him to his grave. 

Sat down upon the coid damp ground, 
Laid back the linen so fine. 

4 'And let me kiss those pale cold lips. 
For I'm sure they will never kiss mine.' 

5 'Oh, Mary, oh, Mary, what makes you weep? 
I'm sure there's more than one.' 

'Poor George, poor George, he's got my heart 
And now he's dead and gone.' 

F 
'George Collins.' Recorded by Miss Mamie Mansfield of Durham in 
1922 from the singing of F. Coleman. The homeliness of the language 
in stanzas 3 and 4 is interesting. 

1 George Collins came home last Thursday night, 
Was taken sick and died. 

For love of him little Mary next door 
Was sewing her silk so fine. 

2 As soon as she heard that George was dead 
She laid her silk aside. 

And there she fell on her bending knees ; 
She wept, she mourned, she cried. 

3 'Oh, Mary, oh, Mary, get up from there. 
And weep and mourn no more ; 

For plenty young men are standing around 
To hear you weep and mourn.' 

4 'Oh, mother, oh, mother, do leave me alone. 
I care no tears for them. 

It makes me weep when you are asleep 
To think I've lost my friend. 

5 'I'm like the little snow-white dove 
That flies from pine to pine 
A-sighing for his own true love 
As I am sighing for mine.' 



'George Collins.' Contributed by Miss Pearle Webb of Pineola, Avery 
county, in 1939. The first three stanzas are pretty much the same as 
the corresponding stanzas of D ; the last three are in better order : 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 137 

4 'Unscrew, take off the coffin lid, 
And lay back the linen so fine, 
And let me kiss his pale cold cheek, 
For I know he will never kiss mine. 

5 'The brightest day I ever saw 
Was by George Collins' side ; 
The longest day I ever saw 
Was when George Collins died. 

6 'Oh, don't you see that pretty little dove 
A-flying from pine to pine? 

He sits and mourns for his own true love 
Just like I mourn for mine,' 

H 

'George Coleman.' Contributed by Lena Warf, October 6, 1939. "I 
first heard this sung by my mother. She was born 1889, Bedford, Vir- 
ginia." Much the same as B, but the order of the stanzas is different. 
B's stanzas appear here in the order 1235764. 

I 
'George Collin.' Contributed by Rosa Efird of Stanly county. The 
items of the story are arranged somewhat differently here though it is 
substantially like the preceding. 

1 George Collin rose up at home last Wednesday night. 
Was taken sick and died. 

2 His darling was in the next room 
Sewing her silk so fine ; 

But when she heard George Collin was dead 
She laid her silk aside. 

3 She went into the very next room. 
And there her darling lay. 

4 'Take off, take off that coffin lid 
And folded sheets so fine 

And let me kiss George Collin's cold lips. 
For Fm sure he'll never kiss mine.' 

5 She followed, she followed him day by day ; 
She followed him to his grave, 

And there upon her knees she fell ; 
She wept, she mourned, she cried. 

6 'Dear girl, dear girl, get up from there. 
What makes you grieve so hard? 
There's many young men a-standing around 
That sees your broken heart,' 



138 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 'God bless, God bless that lonesome dove 
That flies from pine to pine 
And mourns for a lost true love, 
Just like I've mourned for mine.' 

J 
'George Collin.' A text contributed by Ruth Morgan of Stanly county. 
The same text as H, though somewhat more regular in stanza formation. 

K 
'John Harmen.' Contributed by Bessie Lou Mull of Shelby, Cleveland 
county. New names appear here, though it is essentially the same ver- 
sion as the preceding. 

1 Last Wednesday night John Harmen's home, 
So slow, so easy, and quiet. 

Last Wednesday night John Harmen he 
Was taken sick and died. 

2 Miss Polly, Miss Polly was sitting in the hall. 
She was sewing on her silken so fine ; 

And when she heard her true love had died 
She laid it all aside. 

3 'Dear daughter, dear daughter, what makes you grieve? 
There are many more men than one.' 

'Dear mother, dear mother, he's all my heart ; 
I know that my true love has gone. 

4 'Bring up the cofifin, push back the lid, 
And throw oflF the silken so fine. 
And let me kiss those cold poor lips, 
For I know they never kissed mine. 

5 'I followed him up, I followed him down, 
I followed him all around ; 

I followed him up, I followed him down, 
I followed him to the ground. 

6 'Oh, don't you see the turtle dove? 
It is flying from pine to pine ; 

It is mourning for its own true love ; 
And why not mourn for mine ?' 

L 
'George Collins.' Contributed by Miss Bonnie Ethel Dickson. The 
girl here is called "little Nellie," but otherwise this text does not pre- 
sent any distinguishing marks. 

M 
'George Collins.' Contributed by Kendrick Few of Durham in June 
1940. No significant variations. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 139 

N 
'Dame Alice was Sitting on Widow's Walk.' Contributed by Thomas F. 
Leary of Durham in 1940 as sung by John McClusky of Salem, Massa- 
chusetts. Although not a North Carolina text, it is of such mterest that 
it is printed here. In the main it belongs to the f^rst type of version 
described in the headnote; but nowhere else, so far as I can find, is the 
story given a seaside setting. The widow's walk in New England sea- 
coast towns is a place on the roof of the house where a woman could 
walk and watch for the return of ships that had gone out. 

1 Dame Alice was sitting on widow's walk, 
And she looked down on the wharf ; 
And there she saw as brave a corpse 

As ever she saw on the wharf. 

2 'What have ye, what have ye, you six tall men ? 
Is it nets ye bear to the yard?' 

'We carry the corpse of Miles CoUins, 
An old true lover of yours.' 

3 *Oh put him down easy, ye six tall men, 
Here on the grass so green. 

And Tuesday, when the sun goes down, 
His wife a corpse shall be seen. 

4 'Oh bury me in Mary's Church 
For my love so true. 

And make me a wreath of wild roses 
And many flags of blue.' 

5 Miles Collins was buried deep in the east. 
Dame Alice deep in the west. 

And the roses that bloomed on the fisherman's grave 
Reached to the lady's breast. 

6 The minister Gray he happened to pass, 
And cut the roses in twain, 

And said never were seen such lovers before 
Nor ever there will be again. 

o 

Two stanzas, with music, reported by Miss Nancy Maxwell from the 
western part of the state as belonging to 'Barbara Allen' clearly belong 
instead to our ballad in its second type. 

She followed him up, she followed him up, 
She followed him to the grave. 
And there she bent her cold, proud head ; 
She wept, she cried, she prayed. 

*Oh, dig up the coffin and take off the lid, 
Draw back those sheets so fine ; 



140 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

And let me touch those cold, proud lips, 
For I know they'll never touch mine.' 



29 

Lamkin 
(Child 93) 

This gruesome little ballad is traced no further back than the 
latter eighteenth century, but was widely known and sung a hun- 
dred and fifty years ago; Child has twenty-six versions of it (some 
of them merely fragments). And it is still not forgotten. It has 
been reported since Child's time from Aberdeenshire (LL 71-2), 
Cambridgeshire (JFSS v 83-4), Surrey (JFSS i 212-13), Hamp- 
shire (JFSS II III), and Somerset (JFSS v 81-2), and on this 
side of the water from Newfoundland (FSN 17), Maine (BBM 
200-6, JAFL Lii 70-4), Massachusetts (FSONE 303-5), New York 
(JAFL XIII 117-18), Virginia (TBV 354-9). Kentucky (SharpK 
I 202-7), Tennessee (FSSH 91-3, BTFLS viii 75), North Caro- 
lina (JAFL xiii 118, SharpK i 201-2, SSSA 62-4, FSRA 76, 
SFLQ V 137-8), Arkansas (OFS i 141-2), Ohio (BSO 59-60, 
Indiana (BSI 122-4), and Michigan (BSSM 313). The name 
Lamkin (which takes in tradition a variety of forms, some of them 
scarcely traceable to that original) is explained by Miss Gilchrist 
(JEFDSS I 1-17) as a Flemish form of the name Lambert; Flem- 
ings were famous for their skill as masons and were sometimes 
brought to England as builders. The motivation of Lamkin's 
savagery, in many texts, is that he has not been paid by the lord 
for the building of his castle, but in many other texts no motive is 
offered. The daughter Betsy appears in two of Child's versions 
and frequently in American texts. The false nurse, with her bitter 
hatred of her mistress, is a persistent figure. The macabre humor 
of Lamkin rocking the cradle in which the baby is screaming its 
life away while the nurse carries on a long dialogue with the lady 
upstairs marks most of the Child versions and is retained in many 
of the American texts. 



'Beaulampkins.' Sent by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga county, 
in March 1914 to C. Alphonso Smith and afterwards added to the North 
Carolina collection. "As sung by Mrs. Emma Smith and Mrs. Polly 
Rayfield, both of whom heard it when children, probably forty or fifty 
years ago. . . . Mrs. Rebecca Isenhour of this place sings the sixteenth 
verse ... as follows : 

'Oh father,' said daughter Betsy, 
'Pray do not blame me. 
For Beaulampkins has killed your lady 
And little babye, babee.' " 

The name Beaulampkins is evidently a folk-etymology of Bolamkin, 
i.e., bold Lamkin, a form under which the name appears in many texts. 



ALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH I4I 



1 Beaulampkins was as fine a mason 
As ever laid stone. 

He built a fine castle 
And pay he got none. 

2 Said the landlord to his lady, 
'When I am from home 
Beware of Beaulampkins 
Should he catch you alone.' 

3 'Oh no,' said his lady, 
'You need not fear him. 
Our doors are fast bolted 
And our windows barred in.' 

4 But Beaulampkins rode up 
When the landlord was away, 
And, seeing the false nurse 
At a window, did say : 

5 'Where is the landlord. 
Or is he at home?' 

'He is gone to merry England 
For to visit his son.' 

6 'Where is his lady? 
Or is she within?' 

'She is upstairs sleeping,' 
Said the false nurse to him. 

7 'How will I enter?' 

Said Beaulampkins to her. 
The false nurse then arose 
And unbolted the door. 

8 'If the lady is upstairs 
How will we get her down?' 
'We will stick her little baby 
Full of needles and pins.' 

9 Beaulampkins rocked hard 
And the false nurse she sung, 
While tears and red blood 

. From the cradle did run. 

10 The lady came downstairs 
Not thinking of harm. 
When Beaulampkins arose 
And caught her in his arms. 



142 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

11 'Oh spare me, Beaulampkins ! 
Oh spare me one day ! 

And you shall have as much gold 
As your horse can carry away. 

12 *Oh spare me, Beaulampkins! 
Oh spare me a while ! 

Don't you hear how mournful 
My little baby does cry ? 

13 'Oh spare me, Beaulampkins! 
Oh spare me one hour ! 

And you shall have my daughter Betsy, 
My own blooming flower !' 

14 'You may keep your daughter Betsy 
To wade through the flood. 

Hold here that silver basin 
To catch your heart's blood.' 

15 'Oh stay, my daughter Betsy, 
In your chamber so high 
Till you see your dear father 
As he comes riding by.' 

16 'Oh, father,' said his daughter Betsy 
When the landlord came home, 
'Beaulampkins has killed my mother 
While you was gone.' 

17 Beaulampkins was hanged 
To gallows so high, 

While the false nurse was burned 
To a stake standing by. 



*Bo Lamkin.' Contributed by Frank Proffitt, Sugar Grove, Watauga 
county, in 1937. Fourteen stanzas, much like A;Bi456789io = 
A I 5 6 8 10 II 13 14, B 14 = A 17. Stanzas 2 and 3 of B read: 

He swore by his maker he'd kill them unknown. 
'Beware of Bo Lamkin when I am gone.' 

Bo Lamkin came to the castle door, he knocked till it rung. 
There was no one ready as the f altress ;^ she arose and let 
him in. 

And stanzas 11-13 of B run: 

Daughter Betsy a-sitting in the parlor so high. 
She seen her dear father coming riding hard by. 
* Corrupted, apparently, from "false nurse." 




CENTENARIAN 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I43 

*Oh father, dear father, don't blame me for what's done ; 
Old Bo Lamkin has been here and killed your dear son. 

'Old Bo Lamkin has been here and killed your dear lady; 
Old Bo Lamkin has been here and killed your baby.' 



30 

The Maid Freed from the Gallows 

(Child 95) 

For preceding records of this ballad and its relation to theories 
of communal origin, see BSM 66, adding to the references there 
given New Hampshire (NGMS 117-18), Kentucky (BTFLS in 
95), Tennessee (SFLQ xi 129-30), North Carolina (FSRA 35-6), 
Florida (FSF 295-9), Arkansas (OFS i 146-8), Missouri (OFS 
I 143-4, 145), Ohio (BSO 62-4), Indiana (BSI 125-7), and Michi- 
gan (BSSM 146-8 — this last being the "golden ball" form, rare in 
this country). In only half of the North Carolina texts is it a woman 
that waits to be freed from the gallows ; in versions B C E K L it 
is a man, and in D the sex is indeterminate. D is the only one of 
our texts in which the song has been turned into a play. 

A 

'The Maid Freed from the Gallows.' From the collection of Miss Isabel 
Rawn (later Mrs. W. T. Perry), who got it from Belvia Hampton of 
Warne, Clay county, in 1915. 

1 'Oh hangman, oh hangman, 
Wait for a little while; 

I see my father coming ; 
He's rode a many long mile. 

2 'Oh father, oh father, did you bring me any gold, 
Or did you bring me free, 

Or have you come to see me hung 
Upon the sorrowful tree?' 

3 'Oh daughter, oh daughter, I did not bring you gold, 
Nor did I bring you free ; 

But I have come to see you hung 
Upon the sorrowful tree.' 

This three-stanza form is repeated for mother, brother, and lover ; but 
the lover's reply is different : 

12 'Oh sweetheart, oh sweetheart, I did bring you gold 
And I did bring you free, 
But I did not come to see you hung 
Upon the sorrowful tree.' 



144 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



'Maid Freed from the Gallows' — so the caption runs, though it is here 
a man, not a maid, that is freed. This version also is from Miss Rawn's 
collection, further source and date not indicated. The language is 
slightly different from that of A, and the series is reduced to father, 
mother, and sweetheart. 

1 'Hangman, oh hangman ! 
Slacken up your rope ; 

I think I see my father coming, 
He's rode many a long mile. 

2 'Oh father, oh father, did you bring me any gold. 
Or did you bring me free. 

Or did you come to see me hung 
Upon the gallows tree?' 

3 'Oh son, blessed son, I did not bring you gold 
Nor did I bring you free, 

But I have come to see you hung 
Upon the gallows tree.' 

Similarly for the mother; but when the sweetheart appears, her answer 
runs : 

9 'My lover, my lover, I did bring you gold 
And I did bring you free. 
But I did not come to see you hung 
Upon the gallows tree.' 

And the man says : 

'Oh hangman, oh hangman, slacken your rope ; 
From the gallows I will go. 
For to my love, my sweetheart, 
Belongs my Hfe, you know.' 



'The Gallows Tree.' Contributed by Mrs. Sutton, but she does not say 
which of her many mountain singers furnished this particular text. 
"I've heard it down in Caldwell, in Buncombe, in Avery, Mitchell, and 
Burke." Once she heard it " 'on the road.' The long red road from 
Cranberry to Plumtree, and the singer was a lovelorn damsel whose 
lover had recently been in trouble. . . . She looked as if the heroine's 
solution of her problem had its appeal for her, and her mother said, 
'Lulu's been singin' too many lonesome tunes sence her trouble.' " And 
of the tune, as sung by a Mrs. Walter, Mrs. Sutton says : it "is very 
weird, high and rather dififerent from most ballads. She sang it in a 
nasal tone and so very strained that my throat ached in sympathy." As 
a typical version this text is given in full. 

I 'Hangman, hangman, slack up your rope, 
Oh slack it up for awhile. 

I've looked over yonder and I see Pap a-comin' ; 
He's walked fur many a mile. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I45 

'Oh Pap, oh Pap, have you brought me any gold, 
Any gold fur to pay my fee ? 
Or have you come to see me hanged, 
Hanged high on the gallows tree?' 

'Oh Boy, oh Boy, I've brought you no gold. 
No gold fur to pay your fee. 
But I've just come fur to see you hanged, 
Hanged high on the gallows tree.' 

'Hangman, hangman, slack up your rope. 

Oh slack it up for a while. 

I've looked over yonder and see Mam a-comin' ; 

She's walked fur many a mile. 

'Oh Mam, oh Mam, have you brought any gold, 
Any gold fur to pay my fee ? 
Or have you come fur to see me hanged, 
Hanged high on the gallows tree?' 

'Oh Boy, oh Boy, I've brought you no gold. 
No gold fur to pay your fee ; 
I've just come fur to see you hanged. 
Hanged high on the gallows tree.' 

'Hangman, hangman, slack up your rope. 
Oh slack it up fur a while. 
I've looked over yonder and I see Sis a-comin'; 
She's walked fur many a mile. 

'Oh Sis, oh Sis, have you brought me any gold, 
Any gold fur to pay my fee? 
Or have you come to see me hanged. 
Hanged high on the gallows tree?' 

'Oh Boy, oh Boy, I've brought you no gold. 
No gold fur to pay your fee, 
I've just come fur to see you hanged, 
Hanged high on the gallows tree.' 

'Hangman, hangman, slack up your rope. 
Oh slack it up a while. 

I've looked over yonder and seed Sweetheart comin' ; 
She's rode fur many a mile. 

'Sweetheart, Sweetheart, have you brought me any gold, 

Any gold fur to pay my fee? 

Or have you come fur to see me hanged. 

Hanged high on the gallows tree?' 



146 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

12 'Oh yes, oh yes, I've brought you some gold. 
Some gold fur to pay your fee ; 
My own true love shall never be hanged, 
Hanged high on the gallows tree.' 



'My Father Oh No.' Mrs. Sutton describes this use of the song as a 
child's game : "My nurse, a little nigger from Newberry, S. C, was 
playing a sort of dialogue game with my children. It is a corrupted 
arrangement of the 'Maid Freed from the Gallows' or 'Hangman's Song.' 
It goes like this : 

My father oh no, my father oh no, 

Have you brought me any silver or gold? 

Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no 

I didn't bring you no silver and gold. 

I came to you, I came to you, 

I came to see you hanged, my dear. 

You need a shady tree. 

"It follows the usual rigmarole — Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, and 
Sweetheart. My oldest, Betty, was the 'maid.' The nurse the relatives 
and friends. The little nigger said she learned it down home." 



'The Maid Freed from the Gallows.' As sung by Monroe Ward on 
Bushy Creek, Watauga county, in 1936. The series here is mother, 
father, sister, brother, sweetheart. It begins 

*Oh Georgy, hold up your hands for me. 
For I see your mother coming 
Just about a hundred miles,' 

in which the pronouns are confused, or at least confusing. The sweet- 
heart's answer, at the end: 

'I have brought you gold, 
I have brought you fee. 
And I have come to marry you 
And take you away with me.' 



'Hangman, Hangman.' Contributed by Henry Belk of Monroe, Union 
county, in 1919. In this version the dialogue is somewhat abbreviated, 
and her old true love's answer differs slightly from the usual form. It 
begins : 

I 'Hangman, hangman, go slacken your rope.' 
Her father rode for many a long mile. 
'Have you got my gold or paid my fee?' 
'No, I have not got your gold or paid your fee. 
For I have come to see you hung.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I47 

And so on through mother, brother, sister, ending with her true love : 

5 'Hangman, hangman, go slacken your rope.' 
Her old true love rode for many a long mile, 
'Have you got my gold or paid my fee?' 
'No, I have not got your gold, but have paid your fee, 
For I have come not to see you hung.' 



'Hangman Song.' Sent in in September 1922 by Miss Cora Lee Wyatt, 
as sung by John Duncan of Spruce Pine, Mitchell county. The series 
is father, mother, brother, sister, true lover; the gallows is "yonder 
lonesome tree" ; and it ends : 

'My sweetheart, dear sweetheart, I've brought you gold, 

And I've brought you free; 

For I've not come to see you hang 

On yonder lonesome tree.' 

H 

'True Love.' Reported by Mrs. R. D. Blacknall of Durham as sung by 
the Misses Holeman in July 1922. They had learned it from the sing- 
ing of a "negro servant, Maria McCauley, presumably ex-slave of the 
Chapel Hill McCauleys. Heard forty-five years ago." The series is 
father, mother, brother, sister, true love. Ends : 

'O did you bring me gold? 

O did you pay my fee. 

Or have you come for to see me hung 

On yonders willow tree?' 

*0 I did bring you gold. 

And I did pay your fee. 

And I have not come for to see you hung, 

For that thing it never shall be !' 



'The Hangman's Tree.' Contributed by Miss Clara Hearne, principal of 
the high school at Roanoke Rapids, Halifax county, in 1923. The series 
is father, brother, sister, sweetheart. Nothing distinctive in the lan- 
guage or form. 

J 
'Maid Freed from the Gallows.' Contributed by Miss Bonnie Ethel 
Dickson. The manuscript shows neither place nor date. The series is 
father, mother, brother, sister, true love. 



Contributed by Professor M. G. Fulton of Davidson College in 1914 or 
1915. Since this has already been published in the Virginia collection 
(TBV 380-1) it is not reproduced here. It is highly exceptional, the 
series being friend, brother, sister, mother — who effects his release. The 
introductory lines in each section are 



148 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Johnny Low, Johnny Low, my good Johnny, Johnny Low, 
Just pass your hands awhile, 
against which Dr. Brown has noted 'Johnny Low should probably be 
Johnny Law,' but without saying why he thought so. Each section but 
the last ends 

I come this day to see you hung, 
And hung, you shall be hung, 
and the closing line in the last section differs only by inserting "not'' 
after "shall." 

L 
A two-stanza fragment secured by Julian P. Boyd from Minnie Lee, 
one of his pupils in the school at Alliance, Pamlico county, in 1927. 
The quotation marks are the editor's, conjectural. 

'Stand back, stand back, pretty little Johnson! 
Stand back for a great while. 
See if you see your mother a-coniing, 
A-coming many a mile !' 

'Have you brought my gold and silver? 
Have you paid my way? 
Have you come for to see hanging? 
For hanging you shall see.' 

M 
'The Highway Man.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. This 
differs widely from the ordinary versions by beginning (stanzas 1-3) 
with matter from widespread convicts' songs. 

1 As I went down to the old depot 
To see the train roll by, 

I thought I saw my dear old girl 
Hang her head and cry. 

2 The night was dark and stormy; 
It sure did look like rain. 

Not a friend in the whole wide world, 
And no one knew my name. 

3 No one knew my name, poor boy, 
No one knew my name ; 

Not a friend in the whole wide world. 
And no one knew my name. 

4 'Go away, Mr. Judge, go away, Mr. Judge, 
Just wait a little while. 

I think I saw my dear old girl 
Walk for miles and miles. 

5 'Dear girl, have you brought me silver? 
Dear girl, have you brought me gold? 
Have you walked these long, long miles 

To see me hanged upon the hangman's pole?' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I49 

6 'Dear boy, I've brought you silver, 
Dear boy, I've brought you gold ; 

I have not walked these long, long miles 

To see you hanged upon the hangman's pole.' 

7 She took me from the scaffold ; 
She untied my hands ; 

The tears ran down the poor girl's cheeks: 
'I love this highway man.' 

31 

The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter 

(Child no) 

Ballads of the pastoiirelle^ type, with their easy wayside seduc- 
tions, are not many in the Child canon ; 'Crow and Pie' is such a 
one, and so, outside the Child corpus, is 'The Nightingale.' In the 
present case the romantic reversal of position at the end of the 
story takes it pretty much out of the pastourellc category. This 
ballad was still in tradition in the present century in Aberdeenshire 
(LL 87-90), Lincolnshire (JFSS iii 222), Winchester (JFSS in 
280-1), Somerset (JFSS v 86-90), and in the Isle of Man (JFSS 
VII 303). It has not often been found in America; the only previ- 
ous reports of it have come from Newfoundland (BSSN 35-7), 
Maine (BFSSNE ix 7), and Massachusetts (JAFL xxii 377-8 — 
as sung by a Scotch laborer in Ireland!). Our text seems to be 
the only record of its appearance in the Southern states. 

'Sweet Willie.' Heard by Mrs. Sutton in Avery county, but she does 
not say from whom. Stanzas 8 and 13 are echoes from 'Earl Brand,' 
and stanzas 14-15 are from 'James Harris.' The last line of each stanza 
is repeated; here indicated only in stanza i. 

1 There was a farmer's daughter 
Came triplin' o'er the way. 

And there she met a brave soldier 
Who caused her to stay, stay. 
Who caused her for to stay. 

2 'Good morning to you, fair lady,' he said, 
'Good morning to you,' said he ; 

'O I shall die this day,' he said, 
'Shall die for love of thee.' 

3 'Oh say not so,' the lady she said, 
'Oh say not so,' said she, 

* For the pastourelle and its relation to balladry, see A. Jeanroy, Les 
Origines de la Foesie Lyriquc en France an Moycn Age (1904), G. 
Paris, under the same title (1892; it is a critique of Jeanroy's position 
from an earlier issue of Jeanroy's book), and W. P. Jones, The 
Pastourelle (1931, Harvard University Press). 



150 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'That ever such a brave soldier 
Should die for the love of me.' 

4 He took her by her lily-w^hite hand 
And led her to her bovver, 

And kept her there for many a day ; 
The poor girl rued that hour. 

5 He set his foot in his stirrup ; 
He was ready away for to ride. 

She held his horse by the bridle rein 
And stood close by his side. 

6 'You have had my love, good sir,' she said, 
'You have had my love,' said she, 

'And now your name, good sir, I'd know ; 
Please tell your name to me.' 

7 'My name it is not Jack, sweetheart. 
Nor neither is it John, 

But when I fight at my Captain's side 
He calls me Sweet William, sweetheart.' 

8 He mounted on to his milk-white steed 
And he led his dappled bay ; 

He slung his bugle-horn around his neck 
And he went a-ridin' away. 

9 She followed him to the king's own house, 
She jingled at the ring. 

There were none so ready as the king himself, 
He rose and let her in. 

10 *Oh, what will you have, fair lady?' he said. 
'Oh what will you have?' said he. 

'You have a soldier in your camp 
Who has this day handled me.' 

1 1 'What shall I do to him ?' the king said, 
'Oh what shall I do?' said he. 

'He has stolen my heart,' the lady said, 
'Pray, sir, let him marry me.' 

12 He called up his merry merry men, 
By one, by two, by three. 

Sweet William, who alius went in front, 
Now far behind walked he. 

13 He mounted onto his milk-white steed. 
Set her on his dapple bay ; 

He slung his bugle horn around his neck 
And they went a-ridin' away. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH I5I 

14 'I could 'a' married a kine^'s daughter, 
For she would 'a' married me, 

But you follered me to the king's own house. 
May curses light on thee !' 

15 'If you could 'a' married a king's daughter 
Vou might 'a' let me he. 

For there is a shepherd in my father's house 
Who likes my company. 

16 'Would I had die before this day,' 
These words then said she, 

'That I am married to a false-hearted man 
Who never did want me.' 

1 7 But when they came to the preacher's house 
And the marriage rites were done : 

'My father is a king,' she said, 

'And you're ])ut a squire's son son son 

And you're but a squire's son.' 

32 

Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne 

(Child 118) 

The Robin Hood ballads, which bulk so large in the Child collec- 
tion, have but few and weak echoes in American tradition — perhaps 
because life in America has never borne much resemblance to the 
social and economic conditions which produced the figures of Robin 
and his crew. The story of Robin and Guy, known even in Eng- 
land only from Percy's famous folio manuscript, has never been 
reported from American tradition until now. And our text, though 
it certainly derives from the same story, is vague and incomplete. 
Metrically it is so badly disordered as to seem, often, like a prose 
resume of (part of) the story; yet the rhymes show that the text 
derives from stanzaic form. One wonders how the text as reported 
here could ever have been sung to an air, but it is described as 
sung. Very likely the state of the text is due to imperfect recol- 
lection on the part of the reporter. 

'Robin Hood and Guy of Gusborne.' Reported in December 1914 by 
G. C. Little of Marion, McDowell county, at that time a freshman in 
Trinity College, "as sung by Mr. C. A. Wilson, about sixty-five years 
of age, who lives near Marion." 

1 Old Robin Hood was a bold, bold man. 
In the green forest he had a great clan, 

And the way he killed men, it was a sin to the land. 

2 With his great bow he slew many a deer, 
And when the people caught sight of him 
They shook with fear. 



152 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 One day, as they say, a stranger pass that way 
And to bold Robin chanced to say, 

'I'm in search of an outlaw bold 

Who has committed many murders, so I'm told. 

4 'And if by chance to find, this outlaw shall be mine.' 



5 After they had gone quite a way on that fine day 
The stranger to Robin did boldly say, 

'Pray ye, good fellow, tell me thy name, 
For such a guide as you deserves fame.' 

6 And it was then that he learned 
That his guide was the outlaw bold 
Who had committed the murders 
Of which he had been told. 

7 And it was there that this stranger of old 
Was slain by the outlaw bold 

Who lived in the merry green wood of old. 

33 

Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires 

(Child 140) 

This is one of the few Robin Hood ballads that are still alive in 
tradition. Greig found it in Scotland (LL 98-100), and it has been 
reported from Hampshire (JFSS in 268-9) and by Barry from 
Maine (BBM 240-2, with a helpful note). It has not heretofore 
been found in the Southern states. The North Carolina text is a 
form of Child's C version, found in a number of eighteenth-century 
garlands, but the last line of stanza 7 looks back to Child's B version, 
stanza 15: 

'By the truth of my body,' bold Robin can say, 
'This man loved little pride.' 

The last two lines of stanza 3 sound like a confused memory of 
the corresponding lines in C: 

'Or do you weep for your maidenhead. 
That is taken from your body?' 

The text, which comes to the editor in four slightly variant forms 
besides one phonograph recording, has one origin : the singing of 
Mrs. Calvin Hicks of Mast's Gap, Watauga county. The last day 
of September, 1940, Dr. Brown, Professor Abrams, and Miss Edith 
Walker of Boone, who seems to have been the discoverer of Mrs. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 1 53 

Hicks as a singer of old ballads, went to Mast's Gap and got Mrs. 
Hicks to sing this among other ballads that she knew. A recording 
was made from her singing. It corresponds pretty closely with 
the text given below except that it lacks stanzas 3-5. The verbal 
peculiarities of stanzas 5, 7, 10, and 11 appear also in the record. 
Later in the day one of Mrs. Hicks's daughters wrote out the com- 
plete text for Miss Walker, and at the same time (or perhaps later) 
Professor Abranis secured a copy of the text. A month later Dr. 
Brown received in an envelope postmarked Sugar Grove (which is 
the postoffice for Mast's Gap) the penciled manuscript of our text. 
It is unsigned, but its close accordance with the texts secured by 
Miss Walker and Professor Abrams and with Dr. Brown's record 
so far as that record goes leaves no doubt that it, too, comes from 
Mrs. Hicks — or, more likely, from one of her daughters, as did 
Miss Walker's^ and Professor Abrams's.- 

'Bold Robing.' A penciled manuscript from Sugar Grove received in 
October 1940; unsigned, but quite certainly representing the ballad as 
sung by Mrs. Calvin Hicks of Mast's Gap, Watauga county. See above. 
Followed here verbatim et literatim, except for the line division and 
the pointing, which are editorial. 

1 Bold Robing hood one morning he stood 
With his back against a tree. 

And he w^as the war of a fine young man, 
As fine as fine could be. 

2 Bold Robing hood put out to Nouttongain town 
As fast as he could ride,-* 

And who should he meet but a poor old woman 
As she came weeping by. 

3 'Are you weeping for my gold ?' he said, 
'Or are you weeping for my store? 

Or are you weeping for your three heads"* 
Been taking from your Bodye?' 

4 'I'm not weeping for your gold,' she said, 
'Nor neather for your store; 

I am just a-weeping for my three sons 
That has to be hung today.' 

* Miss Walker's first copy of the text was given her by a daughter of 
Mrs. Hicks, as related above. This text was communicated to me by 
Professor Hudson. More recently (September 19, 1948) Miss Walker 
has sent me another copy, written out — if I understand Miss Walker's 
letter correctly — by Mrs. Hicks herself. This second text differs slightly 
here and there from the first. The chief variants are given in footnotes. 

" Professor Abrams tells me that he has not been able to find his 
original copy of the text but has sent me a copy of the text as it is in 
a recording he has made. It is somewhat more literate than the pen- 
ciled text in the Brown Collection but is clearly the same version. 

* Abrams and Walker ( i ) have here "go." 

* Walker (i) has here "your three sons's heads"; Abrams has simply 
"your three sons." 



154 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

5 Bold Robing put"' on to Nouttongain town 
As fast as he could ride ; 

But who should he meet but a poor old l30obager" 
As he came walking by. 

6 'Change clothing, change clothing,' Bold Robing he said, 
'Pray change your clothing with me. 

Hear is 40 bright guinnes I'll give you to boot 
If you will change your clothing with me,' 

7 Bold Robing put on the boobegars coat •'' 
It was patched on every side good. 
'Faith to my soul,'^ bold Robing he said, 
'They'll think I'lP just wear this for pride.' 

8 Bold Robing put on^** to Nouttongain town 
As fast as he could ride; 

But who should he see but the old town Sheriff 
As he stood there close by. 

9 'Which way, which way,' the old town Sheriff said, 
'Which way, I say^^ to thee?' 

'I heard there was three sons to be hung here today, *- 
And the hangman I want for to be.' 

10 'Quick granted, quick granted,' the old town Sheriff said, 
'Quick granted I say to three. ^■' 

And you can have all their gay goo^"* clothing 
And all their bright money ' 

11 'It's I want none of their gay goo^^ clothing 
Or none of their bright money. 

I want three blast from my bugle horn 
As happy as soldiers^^ can be.' 

^Walker (i) has "put out"; Abrams has "went down"; Walker (2) 
has "went on." 

'So also Walker (i) and Walker (2) ; Abrams has simply "a poor, 
old beggar." "Boobager" looks like a corruption of "bullbeggar," a 
bogie. 

''So also Walker (i) and Walker (2) ; Abrams has "the old beggars 
coat." 

* The Abrams and both the Walker texts have "good faith to my soul. 

•So also Walker (i) ; Abrams has "I" instead of "I'll"; Walker (2) 
has "they will say." 

^"Walker (i) has "out" insteaa of "on"; Abrams has "went down'; 
Walker (2) has "went on." 

" Both Miss Walker's texts have "pray" instead of "say." 

"Walker (i) has "I heard three men was to be hung here today": 
Abrams has "I heard of three men to be hung here today"; Walker (2) 
has "I heard three men was to be hung here today." 

"The "three" here is merely a slip of the pencil; all the other texts 
have "thee." . . ., . ., 

" So also Walker (2) ; in the other texts it is normahzed to good. 

"So also Walker (2) ; Walker (i) and Abrams have "a soldier." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 155 

12 He wund his horn unto his mouth 
And he lowed hlasted.^^ 

Five'^ hundred and ten of Bold Robins men come, 
Came marching all up in a row. 

13 'Whose men, whose men,' the old town Sheriff said, 
'W'hose men, I pray to thee?' 

'They are brave men of mine,' Bold Robing he said, 
'Come to borrow three sons^^ from thee !' 

14 'Oh take them! oh take them!' the old town Sheriff said, 
'Oh take them, I pray to thee! 

No lord nor knight, nor no Christendome,^" 
Can borrow three more from me.' 



34 

Sir Hugh ; or, The Jew's Daughter 

(Child 155) 

It is odd, in view of its theme, which is really the ritual murder 
of a Christian child by Jews, that this ballad should have persisted 
as it has in popular favor down to our own times. It has been 
reported fairly recently as traditional song in three shires of Eng- 
land, in the Bahamas, in Nova Scotia, and in nearly a score of 
regional collections in the United States. See BSM 69-70, and 
add to the references there given Lincolnshire (ECS 86), Miss 
Mason's Nursery Rhymes and Country Songs 46-7, Vermont 
(NGMS 254-6), Tennessee (BTFLS viii 76-8), Florida (SFLQ 
VIII 154-5), the Ozarks (OFS i 149-56), Ohio (BSO 66-7), 
Indiana (BSI 128-33), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 43-4)- Prob- 
ably the simple pathos of the little child's death rather than any 
conscious anti-Semitism explains its persistence. Indeed two of 
our four texts from North Carolina have lost any trace of the 
Jew's daughter, as modern texts in general have lost sight of the 
second element of the original story, the miraculous intervention 
of Our Lady to restore the child to life. The Brown Collection 
proper has only one version, our A ; the other three have been 
contributed by Professor Hudson from his own collection. 



No title; the common American title 'The Jew's Daughter' or 'The 
Jew's Garden' would hardly do for a version that has no mention of 
Jews. Secured by W. Amos Abrams from Mary Bost of Statesville, 

^"Walker (i) and Walker (2) have "he lowed blasted Mowed"; 
Abrams has "he loud blasts did blow." 

''So also Walker (i) and Abrams; Walker (2) has "one hundred" 
instead of "five hundred." 

"So also Walker (i) and Abrams; Walker (2) has "three men."^ 

"Walker (i) has "christes sone" ; Abrams, "brave men of yourn" ; 
Walker (2), "brave men of yours." 



156 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Iredell county, apparently in 1935 or 1936. The first stanza seems to 
have been imperfectly remembered. The absence of the repeat in 
stanzas 3 and 4 is no doubt accidental. 

1 It rained a mist, 

It rained all over the town. 

That evening the sun came out ; 

The little boys were tossing their balls around. 

2 At first they toss one high, 
And then they toss one low, 

And then they toss one into a lady's garden 
Where no one was allowed to go go go, 
Where no one was allowed to go. 

3 For no one who has ever went in that garden 
Has ever come out again. 

'Come in, little boy, come in. 

You shall have your ball this evening.' 

4 'I won't come in, nor I shan't come in, 
Except my playmates too.' 

'Come in, little boy, come in. 

You shall have your playmates too.' 

5 At first she showed him a blood-red apple, 
And then she showed him a cherry, 

And then she showed him a diamond ring 
To entice the little boy in in in, 
To entice the little boy in. 

6 She took him by his little white hand. 
She led him from hall to hall. 

She led him to the dining hall 

Where no one could hear his call call call. 

Where no one could hear his call. 

7 She pinned a white cap over his face. 
She pinned it with a pin ; 

She called for a stabbing knife 
To stab his little heart in in in, 
To stab his little heart in. 

8 'Place my bolster at my head 
And my Bible at my feet, 

And when my schoolmates call for me 
Pray tell them that I am asleep sleep sleep. 
Pray tell them that I am asleep. 

9 'Exchange my bolster to my feet 
And my Bible at my head, 



ALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 1 57 



And when my playmates call for me 
Pray tell them that I am dead dead dead, 
Pray tell them that I am dead.' 



'It Rained a Mist.' Sent to Professor Hudson in 1932 by one of his 
students, Miss Marjorie Craig, with the explanation that it "was given 
me by Cleophas Bray of Roanoke Rapids. While I was teaching there, 
he attended high school intermittently from one of the mill villages. . . . 
Cleophas brought me this, saying that his mother (who came from the 
mountains of North Carolina) used to sing it." Here, as in A, there 
is no mention of Jews. The failure of the repeat in the fourth line of 
stanza 6 is probably an accidental omission. 

1 It rained a mist, it rained a mist, 
It rained all over the town ; 
And two little boys went to play, 
To toss the ball around, around, 
To toss the ball around. 

2 At first they tossed the ball too high, 
And then they tossed it too low, 
Then they tossed it into a shop 
Where no one was allowed to go, to go. 
Where no one was allowed to go. 

3 Out came a young miss all dressed in silk, 
All dressed in silk so fine : 

'Come in, my boy, my pretty little boy. 
You shall have your ball again, again. 
You shall have your ball again.' 

4 T won't come in, I shan't come in, 
Unless my playmate comes too. 

For oftimes I've heard of little boys going in 
Who never was known to go out again, again. 
Who never was known to go out.' 

5 She took him by his little white hand. 
She led him through the hall 

And into the dining room, 

Where no one could hear his call, oh call, 

Where no one could hear his call. 

6 She laid him on a lily-white bed 
And covered his little white face, 
And then she called for a carving knife 
To carve his little heart out, 

To carve his little heart out. 



158 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 'Oh place a prayer-book at my head, 
And a Bible at my feet, 

And if my playmate should call for me, 
Just tell him that I'm asleep, asleep, 
Just tell him that I'm asleep. 

8 *Oh place a Bible at my feet 
And a prayer-book at my head. 
And if my mother should call for me 
Just say that I am dead, O dead, 
Just say that I am dead.' 



'Ballad.' This text also was sent to Professor Hudson in 1932 by Miss 
Craig, with the explanation that it "was given me by Vivian Bast, at 
Greensboro, N. C. Her father owns a circus, and she has lived in vari- 
ous parts of the country and picked up odd pieces of folklore in many 
places, but this song came from her grandmother in Maryland." Here 
the murderous lady is "the old Jew's daughter" as in most American 
texts. The first stanza seems to be metrically defective. 

1 It was raining hard the other day, 
And, oh, the rain did pour 

When all the boys in our town went out 
To toss a ball ball ball. 

2 At first they tossed the ball too high 
And then, oh then, too low. 

And then into the old Jew's yard 
Where no one dared to go go go. 
Where no one dared to go. 

3 And then came out the old Jew's daughter 
All dressed in silk and lace. 

She said, 'Come in, my pretty boy, 
And get your ball again gain gain, 
And get your ball again.' 

4 'I won't come in, I can't come in, 
I won't come in at all. 

I won't come in, I can't come in 
Without my playmates all all all. 
Without my playmates all.' 

5 And then she showed him an apple, 
And then a gay gold ring, 

And then a cherry as red as blood 
To entice the little boy in in in. 
To entice the little boy in. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 1 59 

She took him by his little white hand 
And led him through the hall 
And then into the cellar helow 
Where none could hear him call call call, 
Where none could hear him call. 

She wrapped him up in a napkin 
And pinned it with a pin, 
And then she asked for a basin 
To catch his life-blood in in in, 
To catch his life-blood in. 

'Oh place my Bible at my feet. 
My prayer-book at my head, 
And if my mother should ask for me 
Tell her that I am dead dead dead, 
Tell her that I am dead. 

'Oh place my prayer-book at my head, 
My Bible at my feet. 
And when my playmates ask for me 
Tell them that I'm asleep sleep sleep, 
Tell them that I'm asleep.' 



'The Jewish Lady.' Sent to Professor Hudson in May 1942 by Miss 
Margaret Johnson, with the tune and the following notation : "My 
mother, who is seventy years old, sings the song about the Jewish 
lady. . . . Mother doesn't know where she learned it, and says she 
has known it all her life. She was born and reared in Raleigh, right 
in the house where we now live." The first stanza was imperfectly 
remembered. 

1 A little boy went out one day, [or to play] 
Went out to toss his ball, 

Went out to toss his ball ball ball. 
Went out to toss his ball. 

2 At first he tossed it up too high 
And then again too low, 

And then into a Jewish yard 

Where no one was allowed to go go go, 

Where no one was allowed to go. 

3 A Jewish lady came to the door 
All dressed in silk and lace. 

'Come in, come in, my dear little boy. 

And you shall have your ball again gain gain, 

And you shall have your ball again.' 



l6o NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

4 'I can't come in, I won't come in 
Unless my playmates come too, 

For I have often heard of a little boy 
Who never came back again gain gain, 
Who never came back again.' 

5 She asked him into the sitting-room 
And then into the hall, 

And then into the dining-room 

Where no one could hear him call call call, 

Where no one could hear him call. 

6 'Pray spare my life, pray spare my life,' 
The little boy then cried, 

'And when I grow to be a man 

My treasures shall all be thine thine thine, 

My treasures shall all be thine.' 

7 She tied a handkerchief o'er his eyes, 
His hands behind his back. 

And then she took a carving knife 

And pierced his little heart through through through, 

And pierced his little heart through. 

35 

Queen Eleanor's Confession 
(Child 156) 

In our collection is a note under this caption, in Dr. Brown's 
hand, without any text, and reading as follows: "Story known in 
Avery county as Fair Rosamund and Queen Eleanor. But only 
portion of song. Story told by Granny Houston on Bushy Creek 
in Avery county, between Toe and Linville Rivers." It is too bad 
that the story and "portion of song" were not recorded, for 
hitherto the only report of this ballad in America is Margaret 
Reburn's in the Child correspondence in the Harvard Library, 
and that has not been printed. Greig reports it from Scotland. 
LL loo-i. 

36 

The Bonny Earl of Murray 
(Child 181) 

This song has appeared but seldom in recent times. Beatty re- 
ported it in 1907 (JAFL xx 156) as sung by a Scotchwoman visit- 
ing in Wisconsin; Elsie Crews Parsons in 1931 (JAFL xliv 297-8) 
reported it as one of the songs sung by Mrs. May Folwell Hoising- 
ton of Rye, N. Y., with the note that it was "heard in 1906 from a 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH l6l 

Scotchman who had heard it from a kinsman of the Murray fam- 
ily." Neither of these reports indicates that it is really alive in 
American tradition. It is not mentioned in the Folk-Song Society's 
Journal or in Greig's Last Leaves. But our North Carolina text 
seems to come from a longer-established folk tradition. 

'The Earl of Moray.' Secured by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of 
"Aunt Becky" Gordon of Stateline Hill, Henderson county, one of the 
best of Mrs. Sutton's ballad sources. "She found that we were inter- 
ested in old songs, so she sat down on the edge of her wash bench 
under a tall poplar with the sunlight making bars of gold on the hard 
ground of her little yard, and sang 'The Two Sisters' and 'The Earl 
of Moray.' " 

1 Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, it's where have ye been? 
Oh, they've slain the Earl of Mo-ray and laid him on the 

ground. 

2 Oh, he was a handsome feller, and wore a leather glove. 
Oh, the bonny Earl of Mo-ray he was the Queen's love. 

3 He was a noble rider, a-ridin' through the town. 

And all the pretty ladies they watched him up and down. 

4 He was a gallant player, a-playin' at the ball ; 

Oh, the bonny Earl of Mo-ray was the flower of them all. 

5 He was a handsome feller and wore a golden ring. 
Oh, the bonny Earl of Mo-ray he ort to a been king. 

37 

The Gypsy Laddie 

(Child 20o) 

Still widely known and sung; see BSM 73-4, and add to the 
citations there given Massachusetts (FSONE 207-9), Tennessee 
(SFLQ XI 130-1), North Carolina (FSRA 2)7, one stanza only), 
Florida (SFLQ viii 156), Arkansas (OFS i 152-3, 155-60), Mis- 
souri (OFS I 155-9), Ohio (BSO 67-9), Indiana (BSI 134), and 
Kittredge's bibliographical note JAFL xxx 323. Texts from the 
Southern states are likely to include, rather incongruously, stanzas 
from the wooing song 'Where are you Going, my Pretty Maid?' 
So in Tennessee (FSSH iii), Mississippi (FSM 118-19), and 
North Carolina (SCSM 218 and versions A B D E G below). 

A 

'Black Jack David.' From the Isabel Rawn collection, sent to Dr. 
Brown for the North Carolina society in 191 5. Some of her findings, 
and perhaps this, were made in Cherokee county, in the southwest corner 
of the state. The last line of each stanza is repeated. 

I Black Jack David come a-running through the woods, 
A-singing oh so merrily, 



l62 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

He made green hills ail around him ring 
And charmed the heart of a lady, 
And charmed the heart of a lady. 

2 'Come go with me, my pretty little miss, 
Come go with me, my honey ; 

I'll take you to the deep, deep sea. 
And you never shall want for money. 

3 'How old are you, my pretty little miss? 
How old are you, my honey?' 

She answered him with a tee-hee-ha, 
'I'll be sixteen next Sunday.' 

4 'Go saddle me up my old gray horse, 
Go saddle me up my darby, 

And I'll ride east, and I'll ride west. 
Till I overtake my honey.' 

5 He rode and rode till he came to the sea, 
The sea so dark and lonely ; 

The tears came twinkling down his cheeks, 
For here was a body's^ lioney. 

6 'Oh say will you leave your house and home. 
And say will you leave your money. 

Oh say will you leave your husband and babe 
And go with the Black Jack David ?' 

7 'Yes I will leave my house and home. 
Yes I will leave my money, 

Yes I will leave my husband and babe 
And go with my Black Jack David. 

8 'Last night I lay on a fine feather bed 
Beside of my husband and baby. 

But tonight I'll lay on the cold, cold ground 
Beside of my Black Jack David.' 



'Black Jack David.' Sent by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga 
county, in 1914 to C. Alphonso Smith and later passed on to Dr. Brown. 
"Written as sung by a neighbor, Mrs. Julia Grogan of Zionville, who 
learned the ballad from her father." Somewhat nearer than A to the 
normal form. Here as in A the last line of each stanza is repeated. 

I Black Jack David came riding through the woods, 
Singing so loud and merry 
He made the green woods all around him ring 

* So the manuscript. Does it mean "somebody's" ? Or "nobody's" ? 
In neither case js it altogether intelligible, 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 163 

And charmed the heart of a lady, 
And charmed the heart of a lady. 

2 'How old are you, my sweet little miss? 
How old are you, my honey?' 

She answered him with a 'tee hee hee ! 
I will be sixteen a Sunday.' 

3 'Come go with me, my pretty little miss, 
Come go with me, my honey ; 

I'll take you across the deep blue sea 
Where you never shall want for money.' 

4 She pulled off her high-heeled shoes 
All made of Spanish leather, 

Put on a pair of low-heeled shoes 
And they both rode off together. 

5 Late that night when the landlord came home 
Inquiring for his lady 

He was informed by a fair young maid 
She had gone with the Black Jack David. 

6 'Go saddle for me my milk-white steed, 
Go bridle for me my Darby ; 

I'll ride to the East, I'll ride to the West 
Till I overtake my lady.' 

7 He rode till he came to the deep blue sea ; 
The sea was dark and muddy. 

Tears came trickling down his cheeks. 
For there he saw his lady. 

8 'Will you forsake your house and land ? 
Will you forsake your baby? 

Will you forsake your husband dear 
And go with the Black Jack David?' 

9 'I will forsake my house and land, 
I will forsake my baby, 

I will forsake my husband dear 
And go with the Black Jack David. 

TO 'Last night I slept on a fine feather bed 
Beside my husband and baby ; 
Tonight I'll sleep on the damp cold ground 
In the arms of the Black Jack David. 
In the arms of the Black Jack David.' 



164 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

C 

'The Egyptian Davy O.' Another — and much abbreviated — text sent 
by Thomas Smith of Zionville in 1914 to C. Alphonso Smith and later 
to the North Carolina collection. The rhymes and in a less degree 
the refrain are suggestive of the familiar "raggle-taggle gypsies" form 
of the ballad. 

1 There were three Egyptians Hving in the East, 
They were three Egyptians lairio ; 

They sung the Egyptian songs 

Till they charmed the heart of a lady o. 

Rol de ma rinktom rinktom 

Rol de ma rinktom rario. 

2 'Go saddle me my milk-white steed, 
Go saddle me my hasty o ; 

I'll ride all day and I'll ride all night 
Till I overtake my honey 0.' 

3 I rode east and I rode west 

Till I came to some distant lairio, 

And there I found my pretty little miss 

Sitting on the knee of the Egyptian Da[v]y o. 

4 'Come go back with me, my pretty little miss, 
Come go back with me, my honey o. 

I'll take and lock you in a higher room 
Where the Egyptians can't get a-nigh you.' 

D 
'Black-Eyed Davy.' A third text supplied by Thomas Smith. "Sung 
March 11, 1915, by Mrs. Peggy Perry, Silverstone, Watauga county. 
The lady is past 75 years of age and heard the song sung by her grand- 
father 'Clem Dosset,' who was a soldier in the American Revolution. 
Mrs. Perry . . . has sung this song, she says, to her children and 
grandchildren for many years." 

1 'How old are you, my pretty Polly? 
How old are you, my honey?' 

She answered him most modestly, 
'I'm between sixteen and twenty.' 

Chorus: 

Ti diddle a tiddle um Davy 
Ti diddle a tiddle um Davy 
Ti diddle a tiddle um Davy 

2 He came home very late in the night 
Inquiring for his lady. 

The news came sweet from every side : 
'She's gone with the black-eyed Davy.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH l6S 

3 He caught his black and he caught his gray, 
And his black was very speedy. 

He rode all night and he rode all day 
And he couldn't overtake his lady. 

4 He rode to the riverside; 

The river was deep and muddy. 
He rode on to the other side 
And there he found his honey. 

5 'Will you leave your house and land? 
Will you leave your baby? 

Will you leave your own true love 
And follow the black-eyed Davy?' 

6 'I will leave my house and land, 
I will leave my baby, 

I will leave my own true love 
And follow the black-eyed Davy ' 

Later Mrs. Perry supplied the following "missing verses." The first of 
them should perhaps be the second stanza; the second is clearly final, 

'Where are you going, my pretty Polly? 
Where are you going, my honey?' 
She answered him quite modestly, 
'I'm going with the black-eyed Davy.' 

'If ever I do marry again, 
I'll marry for love or riches. 
She must wear the petticoat. 
And I will wear the britches.' 



•Black Jack David.' Contributed by I. G. Greer of Boone, Watauga 
county, apparently in 1915. An unusually full version. The last line of 
each stanza is repeated. 

1 Black Jack David come ridin' through the woods, 
Singin' so loud and merry 

That the green hills all around him ring. 
And he charmed the heart of a lady. 
And he charmed the heart of a lady. 

2 'How old are you, my pretty little miss. 
How old are you, my lady?' 

She answered him with a 'tee, hee, hee, 
I'll be sixteen next summer,' 



'Come, go with me, my pretty little miss. 
Come, go with me, my lady ; 



l66 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

I'll take you across the deep blue sea 
Where you never shall want for money. 

4 'Won't you pull off those high heel shoes 
All made of Spanish leather ; 

Won't you put on some low heel shoes? 
And we'll ride off together.' 

5 She soon pulled off those high heeled shoes 
All made of Spanish leather ; 

She put on those low heeled shoes 
And they rode off together. 

6 'Twas late at night when the land-lord come 
Inquirin' for his lady. 

He was posted by a fair young maid : 
'She's gone with Black Jack David.' 

7 Go saddle me my noble steed, 
Go bridle me my derby ; 

I'll ride to the east, I'll ride to the west. 
Or overtake my lady.' 

8 He rode till he came to the deep below ; 
The stream was deep and muddy. 
Tears came tricklin' down his cheeks. 
For there he spied his lady. 

9 'How can you leave your house and land, 
How can you leave your baby, 

How can you leave your husband dear 
To go with Black Jack David?' 

10 'Very well can I leave my house and land, 
Very well can I leave my baby. 

Much better can I leave my husband dear 
To go with Black Jack David. 

11 'I won't come back to you, my love, 
Nor I won't come back, my husband ; 

I wouldn't give a kiss from David's lips 
For all your land and money. 

12 'Last night I lay on a feather bed 
Beside my husband and baby ; 
Tonight I lay on the cold damp ground 
Beside the Black Jack David.' 

13 She soon run through her gay clothing. 
Her velvet shoes and stockings; 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 167 

Her gold ring off her finger was gone, 
And the gold plate off her bosom. 

14 'Oh, once I had a house and land, 
A feather bed and money, 
But now I've come to an old straw pad. 
With nothing but Black Jack David.* 



*The Gypsy Davy.' Secured by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of Mrs. 
J. J. Miller (the 'Myra' from whom Mrs. Sutton got so many of her 
songs) at King's Creek, Caldwell county. "She learned it from her 
aunt, Mrs. John Barrett, in the Brushy Mountains." Nine stanzas. The 
earlier part of the story is missing in this version ; it begins with the 
husband coming home to find his lady gone. The last three stanzas 
vary somewhat from the customary form; they are a dialogue between 
the husband and the wife : 

7 'Last night I lay on a warm feather bed. 
My arms were around my baby ; 
Tonight I shall lie on some cold river bank 
In the arms of a Gypsy Davie.' 

8 'Pull off, pull off those fine kid gloves, 
They're made of Spanish leather, 
And give to me your lily-white hand 
And we'll shake hands together.' 

9 'I can pull off those fine kid gloves, 
They're made of Spanish leather, 
And give to you my lily-white hand — 
Bid you farewell forever.' 



*How Old are You, my Pretty Little Miss?' Contributed by James 
York of Iredell county in August 1939. Exceptional in that it is 
throughout in the first person ; sometimes unannounced dialogue, some- 
times first person narrative. 

1 'How old are you, my pretty little miss? 
How old are you, my honey?' 

'I'll answer you in the modest way : 
I'll be sixteen next Sunday 

Rataling a do a do a do 

Rataling a do a do a do 

2 'Will you marry me, my pretty little miss? 
Will you marry me, my honey ?' 

T'll answer you in the modest way : 
If it wasn't for my dinged old mammy.' 



l68 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 'Go saddle up the iron gray horse, 
For the black is not so speedy. 

I'll ride all day and I'll ride all night 
Till I overtake my lady.* 

4 I rode on down to the old man's house 
Inquiring of my lady. 

The only reply he made to me, 
'She's followed the Gyps of Davy.' 

5 I rode on down the wide water side, 
Where it was deep and muddy. 

The tears came trinkling down my cheeks, 
For there I beheld my lady. 

6 'Will you forsake your house and lands, 
Will you forsake your baby. 

Will you forsake your old Will and all 
And follow the Gyps of Davy?' 

7 'Yes, I'll forsake my house and lands. 
And I'll forsake my baby, 

And I'll forsake my old Will and all 
And follow the Gyps of Davy.' 

38 

Geordie 

(Child 209) 

For the question of the origin of this ballad and its currency, see 
Child's headnote and BSM 76, adding to the references there given 
North Carolina (FSRA 37), the Ozarks (OFS i 161-5), Indiana 
(SFLQ V 170-1), Illinois (JAFL lx 245-6), and Michigan (BSSM 
317). Our collection has but one full text, and part of a text as 
sung by Miss Hattie McNeill of Ferguson, Wilkes county, prob- 
ably in 1922. 

No title given. Sent in by James York of Olin, Iredell county, in 
August 1939. 

1 As I went over London's bridge 
So early in the morning, 

And there I spied a pretty fair maid 
Lamenting over Georgia. 

2 'Go bridle now my mild^ white steed 
And saddle him so gaily 

That I may ride to Oxford court 
And plead for the life of Georgia.' 
* So in the typescript ; clearly a miswriting for "milk." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 169 

3 When she arrived at Oxford court 
So early in the morning, 

And down upon her bended knees 
A-pleading for the life of Georgia. 

4 He has not robbed no king's highway 
Nor took the life of any, 

But he stold fifteen of the milk-white steeds 
And conveyed them away to Ghelenay.^ 

5 The king looked over her shoulder 
And looked as if he was sorry 

And said : 'Kind miss, you've come too late, 
For Georgia's condemned tomorrow.' 

6 He walked the streets both up and down 
And took the leave of many. 

But he took the leave of his own true love, 
Which hurt him the worst of any. 

7 Georgia was hung with a white silken cord, 
And hung where there were many, 
Because he was of noble blood 

And loved by the royal lady. 

39 

Katharine Jaffray 

(Child 221) 

Despite the popularity of Scott's 'Young Lochinvar,' which is 
derived from it, this ballad has seldom appeared in records of 
traditional singing since the early part of the last century. Greig 
records it from Scotland (LL 158-61); on this side of the water 
it is reported from Nova Scotia (SENS 22-4), Maine (BBM 
400-6), and Vermont (NGMS 141-4, CSV 20-1, both of these 
originally from Ireland). It is not recorded from tradition in the 
South except in our collection. 

'Katherine Jeflfrys.' Secured by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of Mrs. 
Farthing of Beech Creek, Avery county, whose grandfather, so she 
claimed, fought in "the war," meaning the Revolutionary War. 

I There lived a girl in yonder glen, 
A girl in yonder glen O, 
And Katherine Jefifrys was her name, 
Well loved by many men O. 

* Just what country — if any — the singer had in mind is not apparent. 
Bohemia is the name used most often in other texts ; Child G has Balleny. 



170 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLOR 

2 One day come up Lord Willie brave, 
All from the South countree, 

All for to court this pretty maid : 
'Oh, say, won't you marry me?' 

3 He asked her father and mother both. 
Her brother and all her kin. 

And last of all asked her, herself. 
The maid he come to win. 

4 There come another, Lord Robert bold, 
From o'er across the border 

All for to court this pretty maid, 
Well ridin' in good order. 

5 He axed no ma, he axed no pa. 
He axed the girl alone. 

'My pretty maid, won't you marry me? 
I want ye fur my own.' 

6 'My father and mother have promised me 
All to another man; 

But I love you and you I'll wed. 
If it's only so I can.' 

7 The day was set and friends all met 
Her weddin' fur to see. 

Lord Robert bold rode to the house 
A weddin' guest to be. 

8 *Oh did you come for sport, young man, 
Or did you come for play? 

Or did you come for to see pretty Kate 
All on her weddin' day?' 

9 'I did not come for sport,' he said, 
'Nor did I come for play; 

But I wanted one sight o' pretty Kate 
All on her weddin' day.' 

10 There stood a glass o' red, red wine 
Upon the table there. 

She picked it up and drunk a sip, 
A-lookin' at her dear. 

1 1 He took her by her lily-white hand 
And by her grass-green sleeve, 

He throwed her up across his horse ; 
O' Lord Willie he asked no leave. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH I/I 

1 2 He Stuck his spurs in his coal-black steed, 
Took Kate in his strong, strong arm, 
And galloped off across the border ; 
Her kin did them no harm. 

40 

James Harris (The Daemon Lover) 

(Child 243) 

If the various traditional versions of this ballad all go back, as 
Child believed, to the long-winded, pedestrian seventeenth-century 
broadside of 'James Harris,' they constitute something of an argu- 
ment for Barry's doctrine of communal re-creation. For its range 
as traditional song, see BSM 79, and add New Hampshire (NGMS 
95-7), Tennessee (SFLQ xi 127-8), North Carolina (FSRA 38- 
40), Florida (SFLQ viii 160-1), the Ozarks (OFS i 166-76), 
Ohio (BSO 70-7), Indiana (BSI 136-48, JAFL lvii 14-15), Illinois 
(JAFL LX 131-2), Michigan (BSSM 54-8), and Wisconsin (JAFL 
LIT 46-7, originally from Kentucky). Few regional collections 
made in this country fail to record it ; it is therefore surprising that 
Child knew, apparently, only one American text and that a frag- 
ment. It is almost always called in America 'The House Carpenter.' 
The notion that the lover from the sea is a rez'enant or a demon, 
present in the original broadside and less definitely in some of the 
other versions in Child, has faded from most American texts ;^ 
with us it is a merely domestic tragedy. And perhaps for that 
very reason it is one of the favorites of American ballad singers. 
There are some fourteen texts in the North Carolina collection, 
most of them holding pretty closely to one version. A full text 
of this version is given first and most of the others described by 
reference to this. 

A 
The House Carpenter.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton (or rather by Miss 
Maude Minish before her marriage) from the singing of Mr. R. T. 
Lewis of Roaring Creek, Ashe county — "a very wild, primitive location, 
and a most interesting family. The father was a bit politically inclined. 
He kept up with all events of the day and talked with much intelli- 
gence. His wife was a typical mountain drudge, superstitious to a 
degree. . . . For wild beauty and untouched grandeur the scenery 
around their home is not equaled in the mountains anywhere. Roaring 
Creek literally tumbles down a mountain side, seemingly coming from 
the very clouds." The "we'll meet" of the first two lines should of 
course be "well met." 

I 'We'll meet, we'll meet, my own true love,' 

"We'll meet, we'll meet.' he replied ; 

'I'm just a-returnin' from the salt, salt sea 

And it's all for the love of thee. 
' There are traces of it in our K and M versions. 



172 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 'I could have married a king's daughter, 
For she would 'a' married me; 

But I forsaken the crown of gold, 
And it's all for the love of thee.' 

3 'If you could 'a' married a king's daughter 
I'm sure you air to blame ; 

For I am married to a house carpenter, 
And I think he's a nice young man.' 

4 *If you will leave your house carf)enter 
And go along with me, 

I'll take you where the grass grows so green 
On the banks of Sweet Willie.' 

5 'If I will leave my house carpenter 
And go along with thee, 

Have you anything to maintain me upon 
And keep me from slavery ? 

6 'I have five ships on the ocean wide 
A-sailin' for dry land, 

A hundred and fifty bold seamen 
For to be at your command.' 

7 She picked up her sweet little babe 
And kisses she gave it three, 

Saying, 'Stay at home, my sweet little babe, 
And keep your pappy company.' 

8 She dressed herself in silk so fine, 
Most glorious to behold; 

As she walked out toward the wharf 
She outshined the glittering gold. 

9 She had not been on sea two months, 
I'm sure it was not three, 

Until she lamented in her true love's ship 
And wept most bitterly. 

10 'Are you a-weepin' for my silver or my gold, 
Or either for my store? 

Or are you a-weepin' for your house carpenter 
That you will never see no more ?' 

1 1 'I'm not a-weepin' for your silver or your gold 
Or either for your store ; 

I'm just a-weepin' for my sweet little babe 
That I never shall see no more.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 173 

12 She had not been on the sea three months, 
I'm sure it was not four, 

Until there sprung a leak in her true love's ship 
And sunk it to rise no more. 

13 *A curse, a curse on all seamen, 
A curse for evermore; 

For you have robbed me of my house carpenter 
That I never shall see any more.' 



The House Carpenter.' This text was secured by Mrs. Sutton some 
years later than A, from the singing of Mrs. Rebecca Gordon of Cat's 
Head on Saluda Mountain, Henderson county. Here the last line of 
each stanza is repeated by way of refrain. The English is cruder — to 
the point of unintelligibility in the first line of stanza 4. The last stanza 
is borrowed from some of the forms of 'William Taylor' or of 'The 
Sailor Boy.' 



*I oncet could 'a' married a king's daughter fair 
And I wouldn't for the sake of thee.' 

2 'I don't see how you could fault me. 
For I am married to a house carpenter. 
And I think he's a fine young man, man. 
And I think he's a fine young man.' 

3 'Won't you forsaken your house carpenter 
And go along with me? 

I will take you to where the grass grows so green 
On the banks of the salt water sea, sea, 
On the banks of the salt water sea.' 

4 She stole herself in a neat little ravin, 
She dressed in ivory ; 

She spreaded her veil all over her face ; 
She outshined the glittering day, day. 
She outshined the glittering day. 

5 She called her three little babes to her 
And kissed them one-two-three. 

She said, 'Go back, my sweet little babes, 
And keep your pappy's company, ny, 
And keep your pappy's company.' 

6 She hadn't been gone three months on the sea, 
I am sure it was not four. 

Till she was found a-weeping and a-moaning 
And a-weeping most bitter-i-ly, i-ly. 
And a-weeping most bitter-i-ly. 



174 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 'Oh, what's the matter?' said the sea-faring man, 
'Oh, what's the matter?' said he. 

'Is it about your house carpenter? 
Is it about your store, your store, 
Is it about your store?' 

8 'It's neither about my house carpenter 
Nor is it about my store. 

It's all about my sweet Httle babes 
That I left when I came with thee, thee, 
That I left when I came with thee.' 

9 She hadn't been gone on the sea three months, 
I'm sure it was not four, 

Till she thrown herself all over board 
And her soul has sung farewell, farewell. 
And her soul has sung farewell. 

c 

'The House Carpenter.' Sent by I. G. Greer of Boone, Watauga county, 
to C. Alphonso Smith in 1913 and later to the North Carolina col- 
lection. It is essentially the same as A, with some minor variations : 
seven ships, instead of six, and weeks for months in stanzas 9 and 12. 



'The House Carpenter's Wife.' Sent in by Thomas Smith of Zionville, 
Watauga county, in February 191 5, as sung by Mrs. Rebecca Icenham, 
of Silverstone in the same county. "She heard a Mrs. Thompson sing 
it as well as other ballads between forty and fifty years ago at her old 
home near where she now lives." Twelve stanzas of the A version 
with minor verbal variations such as three ships instead of six, "a week 
or two" in stanza 9, etc. 

E 

'The House Carpenter.' Another text secured by Thomas Smith, "sung 
by Clyde Corum of Zionville, March 22, 1915. Clyde Corum learned 
it, he says, from his mother and grandfather, who sang the song to 
him when he was a child." The text is the same as A with minor 
verbal variations, except that it lacks stanza 8 of A and has a different 
opening stanza (which appears also in other ballads) : 

'I will come in but I won't set down, 

For I have not a moment of time ; 

For I heard you were engaged to another young man 

And your heart is no longer mine.' 



'The House Carpenter.' Collected by D. W. Fletcher sf Trinity College 
some ten miles east of Durham from A. H. Carpenter, who learned it 
from his father. The text is short (eight stanzas) and varies a good 
deal from the normal as exhibited in A. Note particularly the confusion 
of grammatical person in the first two stanzas. Because of this con- 
fusion quotation marks are not used until line 7. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 1 7$ 

1 I once could have married the Queen's daughter dear, 
When she looked most beautiful, wise, and sweet ; 
But she went away with a house carpenter 

And there she stayed three weeks. 

2 There came along a very rich man. 
He was richer than tongue could tell. 
'Will you forsake your house carpenter 
And come with this young man ?' 

3 'I will forsake my house carpenter. 
And I will forsake my land. 

And I will forsake my pretty little babe 
And come with this young man.' 

4 They went along till they came to the old sea sound 
Where she looked wonderful wide and deep. 
There she wipeth up her water-weeping eyes 

And then began to weep. 

5 'What are you weeping for ?' said he. 
'Are you weeping for my gold? 

Or are you weeping for your house carpenter 
Which I know you never shall see?' 

6 'I am neither weeping for your gold 
Nor for my house carpenter. 

I am weeping for my pretty little babe 
Which I know I never shall see.' 

7 They had not been gone more than three weeks. 
I'm sure it was not four, 

When there sprang a leak in the bottom of the ship 
And they sank to rise no more. 

8 I've often seen green grass trod under foot ; 
It would spring and grow again. 

True love, true love, 'tis a killing pain. 
Did you ever feel that pain? 

G 
'I Have Forty Ships.' Secured by Miss Mamie Mansfield in 1922 from 
Estella Rhew at the Fowler School, Durham. Here the text has shrunk 
to five stanzas. 

I 'I have forty ships on the ocean side 
And they are all making for land. 
If you'll come along and go with me 
I'll make you a nice young man.'^ 

* Miss Mansfield's text exists in the collection in two copies. The 
other copy reads here "I'll make you nice and grand." 



176 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 She picked up the poor little baby 
And kissed him one, two, three ; 
Said, 'You stay here with daddy 
And keep him company for me.' 

3 She had not been gone but about two weeks, 
I am sure it was not three, 

Before that little girl began to cry and moan 
For someone she'd never more see. 

4 'Are you weeping for your land? 
Are you weeping for your store?' 

She said, 'I'm weeping for my lonesome babe 
I'll never see no more.' 

5 She had not been gone but about three weeks, 
I am sure it was not four, 

Before that ship sprung a leak 
And sunk to rise no more. 

H 
'The House Carpenter.' Two fragmentary and corrupt texts secured 
by Julian P. Boyd at the AlHance School, Pamlico county. In one of 
them "the banks of Sweet Willie" becomes "the banks of sweet Lib- 
erty" ; and the other has for its third stanza : 

Don't you see them seven sailing ship 

Are sailing for dry land? 

You can count 'em all at your command. 

I 
'The House Carpenter.' Reported by L. W. Anderson from Nag's 
Head, Dare county: "Sung to me by Mrs. J. A. Best at whose home I 
board. Her mother sang this also, and they lived on an island called 
Collington twelve miles from Kitty Hawk." It is substantially the 
same as A with some differences in the final stanza : 

'Here's a curse, here's a curse 

To all seafaring men. 

A-ruinin' of lives, robbing of house carpenters 

And taking away of their wives.' 

J 
The House Carpenter.' Secured by Miss Jessie Hauser of Forsyth 
county from Mrs. James Thomas, of St. Jude. The text is substantially 
the same as A but lacks stanza 15 and combines stanzas i and 2 into 

'We've met, we've met, my own true love ; 

We've met, we've met,' said he. 

'It's I could have married the King's daughter fair, 

And she would have married me. 

But I have forsaken her crown of gold, 

And it's all for the love of thee.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 177 

K 

'The House Carpenter.' Secured by W. Amos Abrams in 1938 from 
Mrs. Jim Wilson of Zionville, Watauga county. It runs like A for the 
first seven stanzas but then shifts unexpectedly to the first person of the 
lover and even brings in the vision of heaven and hell of Child's versions 
E and F, not often found in American texts. The last six stanzas run: 

8 We had not been on board three weeks, 
I am sure it was not four, 

When tears did come to my true love's eyes 
And melted to rise no more. 

9 'Are you weeping for your house carpenter? 
Are you weeping for your store? 

Are you weeping for your dear little babe 
That you will never see any more?' 

10 'I am neither weeping for my house carpenter, 
Neither for my store. 

I am just weeping for my sweet little babe 
That I will never see any more.' 

11 We had not been on board three months, 
And I'm sure it was not four. 

When tears began to come in my true love's eyes 
And melted to rise no more. 

12 'What banks are these we are passing by? 
They shine like glittering gold.' 

'It's the banks of heaven that we are passing by. 
Where you and I can't go.' 

13 'What banks are these we are landing on? 
They are black as any crow.' 

'They are the banks of torment we are landing on 
Where you and I must go.' 

L 
'House Carpenter.' Secured from James York, Olin, Iredell county, in 
1939. Ten stanzas, fairly close to A but shifting in stanza 7 from the 
third person of the lover to the first person : 

She dressed herself in her fine richery. 
Most beauteous to behold, 
And as she glided along with me 
She outshined that glittering gold. 

M 

'The House Carpenter.' From the manuscript of Mr. Obie Johnson, 
Crossnore, Avery county, July 1940. The manuscript has the notation 
"Words given by Phebe G. Basefield. Sung by Anne Johnson." The 



178 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

variations from the standard text are so pervading that it seems best 
to give the text entire. Note that like K it has the vision of heaven 
and hell. 

1 'Well met, well met, my own true love, 
Well met, well met,' said he ; 

'I'm just returning from the salt, salt sea 
And all for the love of thee, thee, thee. 
And all for the love of thee. 

2 'I will come in, but I won't sit down. 
For I haven't a moment's time. 

I heard you were engaged to another young man 
And your heart is no longer mine, mine, mine, 
And your heart is no longer mine.' 

3 'Yes, come in and sit down 
And stay a while if you can. 

I am married to a house carpenter. 

And I think he's a nice young man, man, man, 

And I think he's a nice young man.' 

4 'If you will leave your house carpenter 
And go along with me. 

We will go where the grass grows green 
On the banks of the deep blue sea, sea, sea, 
In the land of the Sweet Willie.' 

5 She dressed herself in silk so fine. 
Most glorious to behold, 

And as she marched up and down the street 
She shone like glittering gold, gold, gold, 
She shone like glittering gold. 

6 She picked up her little babe. 
Kisses she gave it one, two, three, 

Saying, 'You stay at home with your poor old dad 
And keep him company, ny, ny, 
And keep him company.' 

7 She hadn't been gone but about two weeks, 
I'm sure it were not three, 

Till she fell down a-weeping in her true lover's lap 
And she wept most bitterly, ly, ly, 
And she wept most bitterly. 

8 'Darling, are you weeping for my silver or my gold. 
Or weeping for my store, 

Or a-weeping for your house carpenter 
Whose face you'll see no more, more, more. 
Whose face you'll see no more?' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I79 

9 'I'm neither weeping for your silver or gold, 
Or weeping for your store ; 
I'm just a- weeping for to see my little babe 
That I'll never get to see any more, more, more. 
That I'll never get to see any more. 

10 'Oh what white banks are that I see? 
They are white as any snow.' 

'They are the banks of heaven, my dear, 
Where your sweet little babe shall go, go, go, 
Where your sweet little babe shall go.' 

11 'Oh what black banks are that I see? 
They are blacker than any crow.' 
'Those are the banks of hell, my dear, 
Where you and I must go, go, go. 
Where you and I must go.' 

12 She dressed herself up in silk so fine. 
Put on her blue and green, 

And marched right out in front of him ; 
They took her to be some queen, queen, queen. 
They took her to be some queen. 

13 They hadn't been gone but about three weeks, 
I'm sure it was not four, 

Till her true lover's ship took a leak in it 
And sank for to rise no more, more, more. 
And sank for to rise no more. 

14 'Well, my house carpenter is still at home, 
And living very well, 

While my poor body is drowning in the sea 
And my soul is bound for hell, hell, hell. 
And my soul is bound for hell.' 

N 

'Said an Old True Love.' One of the songs collected by Professors W. 
Amos Abrams and Gratis D. Williams in 1945 from Pat Frye of East 
Bend, Yadkin county. See headnote to 'Lady Isabel and the Elf -Knight' 
G. Twelve stanzas. The time formula lacks the usual "I'm sure it 
was not," and has instead 

They haden been sailing more weeks than two 
And not exceeding three 

They hadden been sailing more weeks than three 
And not exceeding four. 

No mention of sailing past the islands of heaven and hell. Ends, like 
A and I, with a curse : 



l80 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

She cussed the sailor round and round 

She cussed the boatman lad 

For robbing her of her home and her house carpenter 

And taking her life away. 



41 

The Suffolk Miracle 
(Child 272) 

For the range and antiquity of the story of this ballad, see 
Child's beadnote. Of the English form of it Child knew only 
broadside prints, some of them going back to the seventeenth cen- 
tury; and the texts recovered from tradition in modern times seem 
all to go back to these broadsides. It has been found as tradi- 
tional song in Maine (BBM 314, a fragment), Vermont (BFSSNE 
V 7-9, NGMS 86-9), Massachusetts (BFSSNE v 9-10), Virginia 
(TBV 482-4, SharpK i 264-6), West Virginia (FSS 152-3), Ten- 
nessee (SharpK i 262-3), North Carolina (SharpK i 261-2, 264), 
Florida (FSF 315-16), and Arkansas (OFS i 179-80). 'Nancy of 
Yarmouth' (no. 61, below) has points of similarity in its story but 
is by no means the same ballad. 

'Richest Girl in Our Town (Lucy Bound).' Our text is one of the 
songs collected in 1945 by Professors W. Amos Abrams and Gratis D. 
Williams from Pat Frye of East Bend, Yadkin county — concerning 
whom see the headnote to 'Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight' G, above. 
It has suffered a good deal by oral transmission. The "Lucy Bound" 
of line ID, apprehended apparently by the singer as the girl's name, 
comes from the phrase "loosen these bonds, love, that we have bound" ; 
"the massy dear" of line 26 is what is left of "the messenger" of the 
broadside ; the "safeguard" of line 29, which makes little sense as it 
stands, seems to have been remembered in the wrong place from an earlier 
stanza of the broadside where "her mother's hood and safeguard too" 
are among the things by which the girl recognizes that her ghostly 
visitant is authorized to bring her home from her uncle's. The verse 
seems to be intended as rhymed couplets, but is a good deal broken. 

1 The richest girl in our town 

To the poorest man was tightless bound. 

2 When her old father found it out 
He sent her oflf full forty miles 
To stay twelve months and a day 
Till her love ... lay in the clay. 

3 One night when she was going to bed — 
She was undressing of her head — 

She heard a dead and doleful sound : 
'O Lucy Bound, I am so tight bound !' 

4 She dressed herself in her richly tire 
To ride behind her heart's desire. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH l8l 

As she got up behind him 

They rode more swiftly than the wind. 

5 As they rode upon their way 
She kissed his Hps as cold as clay; 
As they rode on to the tavern gate 

He did complain how his head did ache. 

6 There was her handkerchief ; she pulled it off 
And bound his head was all a-bound, 

Sayin, 'Get thee down, go safe to bed. 
And I will see those horses fed.' 

7 As she knocked at her father's door 
It's 'Who comes there?' her father says. 
'It is your daughter that you've sent for, 
You sent for her by the massy dear.' 

8 It made the hair rise on his head 
To think she'd rode behind a dead ; 
And he did hurry and no safeguard 
Straight to that grave and undo. 

There was her handkerchief, for very well knew. 
For there it hung so well in view. 

9 If this ain't a warning to old folks still, 
Never hinder young ones from their will. 

42 

Our Goodman 
(Child 274) 

This is one of the few humorous ballads admitted to Child's 
collection. For its history and its kin in other languages, see 
Child's headnote; for its range in English since Child's time, see 
BSM 89-90, and add Virginia (OSC 300-1), North Carolina 
(FSRA 41), Florida (FSF 317-19), Missouri (OFS i 181-5), 
Ohio (BSO 82-3), Indiana (BSI 149-50). and Tennessee (BTFLS 
VIII 72-3). Our North Carolina texts all belong to what BSM calls 
the first form, in which the wife has but one paramour. The be- 
traying^ signs come in a different order in the different texts. In 
fact, A represents one version, B and C another. 

A 
'Kind Wife.' Sent by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga county, to 
C. Alphonso Smith in 1914 and later to the North Carolina collection. 

I 'Kind wife, loving wife, how may it be. 

Whose old horse is that where mine ort to be?' 
'You old fool, you blamed fool, can't you never .see? 



l82 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

It's nothing but a milk cow your mammy sent to me.' 
'As long as I can remember— it's forty years or more — 
I never saw a milk cow with a saddle on before.' 

2 'Kind wife, loving wife, how may it be, 
Whose old hat is that where mine ort to be?' 

'You old fool, you blamed fool, can't you never see? 
It's nothing but a cabbage head your mammy sent to me. 
'As long as I can remember — it's forty years or more — 
I never saw a cabbage head with a brim on before.' 

3 'Kind wife, loving wife, how may it be, 
Whose old boots are them where mine ort to be?' 
'You old fool, you blamed fool, can't you never see? 
It's nothing but a milk churn your mammy sent to me.' 
'As long as I can remember — it'^ forty years or more — 
I never saw a milk churn with heel irons on before.' 

4 'Kind wife, loving wife, how may it be. 
Whose old coat is that where mine ort to be?' 

'You old fool, you blamed fool, can't you never see? 
It's nothing but a counterpane your mammy sent to me. 
'As long as I can remember — it's forty years or more — 
I never saw a counterpane with coat sleeves on before,' 

5 'Kind wife, loving wife, how may it be. 
What old man in the bed where I ort to be?' 

'You old fool, you blamed fool, can't you never see? 
It's nothing but a baby child your mammy sent to me.' 
'As long as I can remember — it's forty years or more — 
I never saw a baby child with a mustache on before.' 



'Arrow Goodman.' Sent in by W. A. Abrams of Boone, Watauga 
county, in 1937, as "given to me by Chloe Michael, who learned it from 
her father. He learned it in 1898." Here, as in many other texts 
recorded, the husband comes home, by his own confession, drunk. The 
series is reduced to three : boots, horse, head. 

I I came in the other night drunk as I could be. 

Somebody's boots in the corner where my boots ought to 

be. 
I says, 'My dear little wifey, come 'splain this thing to me : 
Whose boots there in the corner where my boots ought to 

be?' 
'You drunk fool, you blind fool, you surely cannot see. 
It's nothing but a cream jar my granny gave to me.' 
'I've traveled this world over ten thousand years or more. 
Boot heels on a cream jar I've never seen before.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 1 83 

2 I came in the other night, drunk as 1 could be. 
Somebody's horse in the stable where my horse ought to 

be. 
I says, 'My dear little wifey, come 'splain this thing to me: 
Whose horse in the stable where my horse ought to be?' 
'You drunk fool, you blind fool, you surely cannot see. 
It's nothing but a milk cow my granny gave to me.' 
'I've traveled, I've traveled ten thousand miles or more, 
A saddle on a milch cow I never have seen before.' 

3 I came in the other night, drunk as I could be. 
Somebody's head on the pillow where my head ought to be. 
I says, 'My dear little wifey, come 'splain this thing to me: 
Whose head is on the pillow where my head ought to be?' 
'You drunk fool, you blind fool, you surely cannot see. 
It's nothing but a cabbagehead my granny gave to me.' 
'I've traveled this wide world over ten thousand times or 

more, 
But a cabbage head with a mustache on I never have seen 
before.' 

c 

'Our Goodman.' Sent in by Frank Proffitt of Sugar Grove, Watauga 
county, in 1937. Essentially the same version as B, but the series runs 
to four: coat (bed quilt with pockets on it), horse (milk cow with 
saddle on), head (cabbage with a mustache on), and (by misplacement, 
apparently) boots (cream pitcher with boots on). 



Lucille Cheek of Chatham county reports a single stanza as known 
among Chatham county Negroes. 

43 

Get up and Bar the Door 

(Child 275) 

For analogies in other tongues to this little domestic comedy, 
see Child's headnote. It has been found occasionally in later 
tradition: in Scotland (LL 216-18), Newfoundland (BSSN 41-2), 
New Brunswick (BBM 318-19), Maine (BBM 320-1), Virginia 
(TBV 495-6, a fragment only). West Virginia (FSMEU 147-8), 
Florida (FSF 320-1), Missouri (OFS i 186), and Michigan 
(BSSM 371-2). 

A 

'Get Up and Bar the Door.' Obtained from Edna Whitley, date and 
place not noted. It is very close to Child's A version, suggesting the 
possibility that it is merely one of the sheets that Dr. Brown sometimes 
distributed as a means of finding ballads in the memories of school 
children and others. But even if so, its presence in the Collection means 
that Edna Whitley recognized it as a ballad she knew. 



184 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 It was about the month of May, 
A good time they had then, 

That our gude wife had pudding to make 
And she boiled them in the pan. 

2 The wind blew from the east and north 
And blew into the floor. 

Quoth our gudeman to our gudewife, 
'Get up and bar the door.' 

3 'My hand is in my pudding, 
Gudeman, as you may see ; 

And it shouldn't be barred this hunder year 
It's never be barred by me.' 

4 They made a paction 'tween them two. 
They made it firm and strong, 

That the first word whatever spoke 
Should rise and bar the door. 

5 Then by there came two gentlemen 
At twelve o'clock at night, 

When they can see na either house ; 
And at the door they light. 

6 'Now whether is this a rich man's house. 
Or whether it's a poor?' 

But never a word wad one o them speak, 
For barring of the door. 

7 And first they ate the white puddings. 
And soon they ate the black. 

Much thought the good wife to herself 
Yet never a word did she speak. 

8 The one unto the other said, 
'Here, man, take you my knife; 
Do ye take ofif the old man's beard, 
And I'll kiss the good wife.' 

9 'But there's no water in the house ; 
And what will we do then?' 
'What ails ye at the pudding brae 
That boils within the pan?' 

10 Oup then started our goodman. 
An angry man was he : 
'Will ye kiss my wife before my een 
And scauld me with pudding bree?' 



MOSTLY BRITISH 185 



Oup then started our gude wife, 
Gied three skimps on the floor : 
'Gudeman, ye've spoke the first word. 
Get up and bar the door.' 



'Get Up and Bar the Door.' As sung by Mrs. James York of Olin, 
Iredell county, September 14. 1941 ; transcribed from tlie phonograph 
record by Professor Schinhan. Three stanzas only, with chorus. 

1 It came about the Martin's time 
A gay time it was aye, no 

When our good wife had things to bake 
And she boiled 'em in a pan, oh. 

Chorus: 

And a bar'n of our door weel weel weel 
And a bar'n of our door weel. 

2 The wind's so cold in north and south. 
And blow cold afore, oh, 

When our good man to our goodwife : 
'Gang out an bar the door oh.' 

3 'My hand is in my hostage cap, 
This man is yea may see, oh ; 

And it shouldna be barred this hundred year 
And it will never be barred by me, oh.'^ 



44 

The Wife Wrapt in Wether's Skin 

(Child 277) 

Not old — Child's earliest recorded text is from the late eighteenth 
century — this ballad is a general favorite among ballad-singing folk 
on both sides of the water. See BSM 92, and add to the references 
there given Tennessee (BTFLS viii 74), Florida (FSF 322), Mis- 
souri (OFS I 187-8), and Indiana (BSI 151-4). Robert Leslie 
Mason has recently (SFLQ xi 134-5) reported from Tennessee a 
text that is a curious combination of this ballad and 'The Farmer's 
Curst Wife.' All of the North Carolina texts use the "Dandoo" 
refrain, most of them combining with it some form of the "clish- 
ma-clingo" refrain. There is little variation in the story content. 

^ This stanza is by no means clear. The first two lines of the third 
stanza of Child's A version run 

'My hand is in my hussyfskap, 
Goodman, as ye may see.' 
"hussyfskap" means housewifery. 



l86 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



'Danyou.' Sent in by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga county, in 
191 5 with the notation: "The above song was written down March 14 
by Mrs. Ada Rayfield (formerly Miss Miller), a relative of Lorenzo 
Miller. Lorenzo (Ranz) Miller is the man who sings this song. He 
served through the Civil War in the Confederate Army, he was a fifer. 
Mr. Miller is still a splendid fifer and singer. He lives in the moun- 
tains east of Zionville." Some time later (1921) Mrs. Rayfield sang 
the ballad for Dr. Brown, enabling him to take down the tune. The 
intercalated refrain and the repetition of the opening line of the stanza 
run through the text. 

1 There was an old man that lived in the West 

Dan -you 
There was an old man that lived in the West 
And he had him a wife that was none of the best. 

Um to diddle to Dan-you 

2 This old man come in from the plow, 
Said to his wife, 'Is dinner ready now?' 

3 'There's a little piece of bread laying on the shelf ; 
If you want any more just get it yourself.' 

4 He jumped into his sheep pen 

And downed with a wether and took ofif its skin. 

5 He tooked the sheepskin to his wife's back 
And the way he made the hickory crack ! 

6 'I'll tell my father and brothers three 
What a whipping you gave me.' 

7 'I don't care if you tell your father and all your kin 
How I dressed my mutton skin.' 

B 
'Dandoo.' From Dean W. E. Bird, CuUowhee, Jackson county. A 
somewhat longer text than A, with expansion of the refrain. The manu- 
script has a notation that seems to mean that this song is sometimes 
sung with a refrain "For gentle, for Jenny, for Rosamaree," the refrain 
commonly used with it in New England versions. 

1 There was an old man who lived in the West 

Dandoo 
There was an old man who lived in the West 

To my clash-i me clingo 
There was an old man who lived in the West, 
He had an old woman who was none of the best. 

Lingarum ! Lingorum ! Smackarorum ! Curlimingorum ! 
to my clash-i me clingo ! 

2 One day the old man came in from the plow, 
Says, 'O my good wife, is my dinner ready now?' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 187 

3 'There's a piece of bread a-lying on the shelf. 
If you want any more you can bake it yourself,' 

4 I took me a knife and I went to the barn 
And I cut me a hickory as long as my arm. 

5 Then I went out to my sheep pen 
And I grabbed me up an old sheepskin. 

6 I threw that skin on my old wife's back 
And with that stick I went whickety-whack. 

7 'I'll tell my mother, I'll tell all my kin 
How you beat me up with a hickory limb.' 

8 'Go tell your mother, go tell all your kin 
I was only tanning my old sheep skin.' 

9 Next time the old man came in from the plow, 
Says, 'O good wife, is my dinner ready now?' 

10 She flew all around and she spread the board 
And 'Yes, my dear husband' was her every word. 

11 And ever since then she has been a good wife, 
And I hope she will be to the end of her life. 

c 

'Dandoo.' Record on a wax cylinder of text and music from the sing- 
ing of Frank Proffitt of Sugar Grove, Watauga county, made in 1937. 
Substantially the same as the preceding except for the refrain, which 
runs as in the following opening stanza: 

This good little man come in at noon 

Dandoo, dandoo 
This good little man come in at noon : 
'Have you got my dinner soon?' 

To my highland, to my lowland. 

To my crish crash, to my clingo. 



'The Wife Wrapped in a Wether Skin.' From Miss Edith Walker of 
Boone, Watauga county. An abbreviated text, three stanzas, with an 
elaborate refrain : 

There was an old man lived in the West 

Dan-u dan-u 
There was an old man lived in the West 

Umphy-doddle-u-dan-u 
There was an old man lived in the West. 
He had him a wife, she was none of the best. 

To my harem-garem-girem-larem 

Umphy-doddle-u-dan-u 



l88 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

45 
The Farmer's Curst Wife 

(Child 278) 

For the range of this ballad in recent times in Great Britain and 
America, see BSM 94-5, and add Massachusetts (FSONE 188-91), 
North Carolina (FSRA 42), Tennessee (BTFLS viii 73-4), 
Florida (FSF 323-5), Arkansas (OFS i 189-91), Missouri (OFS 
1 191-3), Indiana (BSI 155-7), Michigan (BSSM 373-8, SFLQ iv 
157-8, Beck's Songs of the Michigan Lumberjacks 107-8), and 
Nebraska (SFLQ 11 78, sung in Knoxville, Tennessee, but learned 
from the singer's father in Beatrice, Nebraska). 

'The Farmer's Wife.' Secured by Mrs. Sutton (who was then Miss 
Maude Minish) at a "lassy bilin' " from a "master banjo picker" who 
lived on Upper Hinson's Creek in Avery county and was at the time 
(1917) expecting to go to camp in a few days. "I've often wondered," 
she writes, "if he went overseas and what became of him. He may have 
become a radio hill billy by now, but he was a delightful ballad singer." 
The intercalated refrain, given here for the first stanza, runs through 
all the stanzas without change. 

1 There was an old man lived under the hill, 
Sing toora lala loora, sing toora la day 

If he's not moved away he's living there still. 
Sing toora lala loora, sing toora la day. 

2 This old man went out to his plow 
And saw the old devil fly over his mow. 

3 He had the old woman all up in a sack 
And carried her off to old tamplo^ shack. 

4 Twelve little devils came walking by. 

She upped with her foot and kicked them in the fire. 

5 She picked up a club, hit the devil on the back ; 
And he carried her away from the old tampio^ shack. 

6 He handed her to the old man over the wall 
And said, 'Take her back, or she'll kill us all.' 

7 The old man said, T know I'm cursed. 

She's been down to hell and come back worse.* 

46 

The Crafty Farmer 

(Child 278) 

This story of the highwayman outwitted exists in two forms: 
'The Crafty Farmer' proper, which Child presents in a version 

' This word seems to be spelled two ways in the manuscript. Its 
meaning the editor has not been able to make out. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 189 

found in various broadsides but which has seldom been reported 
from tradition since, and 'The Yorkshire Bite,' which Child men- 
tions without giving a text but which appears frequently in tradi- 
tion, especially in America. The former is reported from Devonshire 
(Mason's Nursery Rhymes and Country Songs 43), from Scotland 
(LL 236-7), and once in America, from West Virginia (FSS 
166-8). The latter, often printed as a broadside or stall ballad 
(see Kittredge's bibliographical note, JAFL xxx 367), is reported 
from tradition in Norfolk (JFSS 11 174-5), Berkshire (FSUT 
253-4), and Somerset (JFSS viii 180-2), and on this side of the 
water in Newfoundland (BSSN 45-6), Nova Scotia (SBNS 39- 
41). Maine (BBM 406-13), Vermont (NGMS 97-102, CSV 
26-7), Massachusetts (JAFL xxiii 451-2, xxx 368-9), West Vir- 
ginia (FSMEU 149-52), Tennessee (FSSH 137-9), North Carolina 
(FSSH 135-7), Georgia (FSSH 140, fragment only), Michigan 
(BSSM 382-4), and Illinois (ASb 118-19). As a rule the texts 
agree pretty closely — probably because they are not far removed 
from the stall prints — but Combs's West Virginia text is amusingly 
Americanized; the farmer becomes a Staunton (Virginia) mer- 
chant and his man a South Carolina Negro who at the end is com- 
mended by his master : 

For you have put upon him 
A South Carolina bite. 

A 
'A Yorkshire Bite.' Heard by Miss Maude Minish (later Mrs. Sutton) 
in Avery county. Date not given, but it was some time before 1923. 
The refrain is repeated after every stanza. 

1 There was an old farmer who lived in Yorkshire 
And now his story you soon shall hear. 

There was a boy that he had for his man, 
A Yorkshire lad, and his name was John. 
Dudley ding, dudley ding dum, 
Duldy, duldy doy. 

2 Loudly the old farmer called for his man, 
And unto his master he quickly ran : 

'Go get the old cow and take her to the fair. 
For she is in good order and her we can spare.' 

3 He went a little farther, and there he met a man 
And he sold him his cow for six pound ten. 

He went to the tavern to get him a drink ; 

There was the old farmer, who paid him down the chink. 

4 There sat a highwayman a-drinking of his wine. 
Says he to himself, 'That money is all mine.' 

5 'Sew the money in the lining of your coat,' said she, 

'Or else on the mountain highway robbed of it you will be.' 



IQO NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

(The boy starts to go home, and while he is on his way he is overtaken 
by the highwayman, who says to him:) 

6 'Deliver up your money without fear or strife, 

Or in this lonely valley I will end your sweet life.' 
From the lining of his coat John drew the money out 
And in the green grass he strowed it well about. 

7 The highwayman instantly leaped from his horse, 
But little did he think it was to his loss ; 

For while he was a-gathering the money in his purse 
The boy jumped a-horseback and rode away his horse. 

8 When the kitchen maid saw Jack a-ridin' home. 
For to acquaint her master she quickly did come. 
He threw up the window and looked very cross : 
'What the deuce, has my cow turned into a horse?' 

9 'Oh no, my dear master ; your cow has been sold, 
And I have been robbed by a highwayman bold ; 
But while he was a-gathering the money in his purse. 
To make you amends, sir, I rode away his horse.' 

10 The saddle bags were opened all things to unfold. 
There was five thousand pounds in silver and gold, 
A brace of fine pistols ; and the boy says, 'I vow, 

I think, my dear master, I have well sold your cow.' 

11 The old man laughed until himself he could control. 
Said he, 'For a boy you have been precious bold ; 
Now, for your bravery and valiant career, 

Three parts of this money you shall have for your share. 

12 'As for the highwayman, he has lost what he stole, 
But he may go robbing until he gets more ; 

As for the highwayman, you have served him just right, 
You have fixed upon him a fine Yorkshire bite.' 



'Farmer John Robbed the Robbers.' Written down in 1922 by Ben 
Grogan of Zionville, Watauga county, from the singing of Mrs. Julia 
Grogan. It is the same version as A, with numerous minor variations 
due to oral transmission. The refrain is "Like others, others to round 
tinty oh." The defective place in A, stanza 5, reads : 

Well, the boy went down in the bar-room to get him a 

drink. 
The money was paid right down in jink. 
There sit a lady in silk so fine. 
Having that money sewed in his coat-line. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH I9I 

47 

The Sweet Trinity (The Golden Vanity) 
(Child 286) 

The oldest form of this, Child's A, is a seventeenth-century 
broadside; later modifications of it, in broadsides and stall prints 
down into the nineteenth century, are nearer to the form in which 
it is traditionally current in our time. It is a favorite among 
American ballad singers. For its vogue, see BSM 97-8,^ and 
add to the citations there given Massachusetts (FSONE 136-7), 
North Carolina (FSRA 43-5), Florida (FSF 326-8), the Ozarks 
(OFS I 195-201), Michigan (BSSM 214-15), and Wisconsin 
(JAFL Lii 11-12). It is altogether probable that its popularity is 
due in part to the sonorous refrain, and perhaps also to the tune or 
tunes used. There are six texts in our collection. 

A 

'The Turkish Revoloo.' Sent to C. Alphonso Smith by Thomas Smith 
of Zionville, Watauga county, in 191 4 and later to the North Carolina 
collection. The name 'Revoloo' for the Turkish ship is peculiar to this 
version. The ship bears a variety of names in the various versions, 
frequently "the Turkish Revelee," as in stanza 6 below ; so that one 
suspects a change in stanza 2 for the sake of the rhyme with "two." 
Compare "Traveloo" in version C below. The refrain is written out 
throughout, because it is sometimes adapted to the matter of the stanzas. 

1 There was a little ship in the South Amerikee 
That went by the name of the Golden Willow Tree, 

As she sailed on the lowland lonesome low. 
As she sailed on the saltwater sea. 

2 She hadn't been a-sailin' more than a week or two 
Till she came in sight of the Turkish Revoloo 

As she sailed on the lowland lonesome low, 
As she sailed on the saltwater sea. 

3 The Captain cried, 'Oh, what shall I do? 
For yonder comes the Turkish Revoloo. 

As she sails on the lowland Ipnesome low. 
As she sails on the saltwater sea.' 

4 Up steps a little cabin boy, saying, 'What'll you give me 
If I will sink her in the saltwater sea. 

As she sails on the lowland lonesome low, 
As she sails on the saltwater sea?' 

5 T have a house, and I have lands, 

And I have an only daughter, who shall be at your command, 

' There are two errors in the citations there given. The LL reference 
should be 238-9, not 228-9; and the JFSS 11 reference should be 244, 
not 224. 



192 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

If you will sink her in [the] lowland low, 
If you will sink her in the saltwater sea.' 

6 He bent to his breast and off swam he 

Till he came to the side of the Turkish Revoke 
As she sails on the lowland lonesome low, 
As she sails on the saltwater sea. 

7 He had a little instrument a-purpose for the use 
And he cut nine gashes in the saltwater juice^ 

As she sailed on the lowland lonesome low. 
As she sailed on the saltwater sea. 

8 Some a-playin' cards and some a-playin' checks 
And some a-dancing on the saltwater decks 

As she sinks in the lowland lonesome low. 
As she sinks in the saltwater sea. 

9 Some with their hats and some with their caps 
A-tryin' for to stop the saltwater gaps 

As she sinks in the lowland lonesome low, 
As she sinks in the saltwater sea. 

10 He turned his face and back swam he 

Till he reached the side of the Golden Willow Tree 
As she sailed on the lowland lonesome low, 
As she sailed on the saltwater sea. 

11 'Captain, will you be as good as your word, 
And will you take me back on board 

As you sail on the lowland lonesome low, 
As you sail on the saltwater sea?' 

12 T will neither be as good as my word, 
I will neither take you back on board, 

As I sail on the lowland lonesome low, 
As I sail on the saltwater sea.' 

13 Tf it wasn't for the love I have for your men 
I would do to you as I did to them 

As you sail on the lowland lonesome low. 
As you sail on the saltwater sea.' 

14 He turned his back and down sank he. 
Bidding farewell to the Golden Willow Tree, 

As she sailed on the lowlands lonesome low, 
As she sailed [on] the saltwater sea. 
• Many texts have here "sluice," which comes nearer to making sense. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I93 



'The Golden Willow Tree.' Secured by I. G. Greer of Boone, Watauga 
county, in 1915 or 1916. The text is almost identical with that of A; 
the second line of stanza 5 reads "If you will sink her in the bottom 
of the sea" and stanza 6 has "Revoloo" instead of "Revolee," in spite 
of the fact that the preceding line ends in "he." 

C 
The Lonesome Low.' One of two versions reported by Mrs. Sutton, 
who remarks : "The Golden Willow Tree is a very common ballad in 
this State. I have collected it in Caldwell, on the Beech Mountain in 
Watauga, on Toe River, on Big Hungry in Henderson, on Upper 
Hominy in Buncombe, and on the Rocky Broad in Rutherford. I've 
heard it in a Gaston county mill village and fishermen sing it on the 
Albemarle Sound. It is almost as widely known as Barbary Allen." 
One of the versions she secured from the singing of Myra Barnett 
(Miller), "from whom I got 42 traditional ballads. Myra fascinated 
every child in our neighborhood with the songs when I was a little 
girl." She came from the Brushy Mountains in Caldwell county, near 
the Wilkes county line. The text of this version is the same as that of 
A. Her other text bears the title 'The Lonesome Low,' with the music 
supplied by her sister. Miss Pearl Minish. But her manuscript does 
not show from which of her many singers of it this text was set down. 

1 There was a little ship a-sailin' on the sea, 

And she went by the name of The Golden Willow Tree, 
As she sailed on the lowland lonesome low. 
As she sailed on the lonesome sea.^ 

2 Up stepped a sailor: 'Oh, what shall we do? 
For I have spied the Turkish Traveloo 

As she sails on the lowland lonesome low, 
As she sails on the lowland sea.' 

3 Up stepped a young man : 'Oh, what'U you give to me 
If I will sink her in the bottom of the sea 

As she sails on the lowland lonesome low, 
As she sails on the lowland sea?' 

4 'I have a house and I have lands, 

I have an only daughter that shall be at your command, 
If you'll sink her in the lowland lonesome low, 
If you'll sink her in the lowland sea.' 

5 He turned upon his breast and away swam he. 
He swum till he found her a-sailin' on the sea, 
A-sailin' on the lowland lonesome low, 
A-sailin' on the lowland sea. 

6 Some a-playin' cards, and some a-pitchin' dice. 
And some a-standin' by them a-givin' good advice 
As she sailed on the lowland lonesome low, 

As she sailed on the lowland sea. 
• Miss Pearl sang here "lowland sea." 



194 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 He cut and he slashed, till he cut plumb through, 
He cut nine gashes in that Turkish Travcloo 

As she sailed on the lowland lonesome low, 
As she sailed on the lowland sea. 

8 Some with their hats and some with their caps 
And some fur to stop them salt water gaps 

As she sunk in the lowland lonesome low, 
As she sunk in the lowland sea. 

9 He turned upon his breast and away swam he, 

He swum till he came to the Golden IVillotv Tree, 
As she sailed on the lowland lonesome low. 
As she sailed on the lowland sea. 

10 'Oh captain, oh captain, will you be as good as your word? 
Oh captain, oh captain, will you take me on board. 

As you sail on the lowland lonesome low, 
As you sail on the lowland sea?' 

1 1 'Neither will I be as good as my word 
Nor neither will I take you on board, 

Tho' you've sunk her in the lowland lonesome low, 
Tho' you've sunk her in the lowland sea.' 

12 'If it was not for the love I have for your men 
I'd do unto you as I done unto them, 

I would sink you in the lowland lonesome low. 
I would sink you in the lowland sea.' 

13 He turned upon his back and down sunk he; 
He said farewell to the Golden IVillotv Tree 
As she sailed on the lo\^land lonesome low, 
As she sailed on the lowland sea. 

D 

'Cabin Boy.' Contributed by Juanita Tillett of Wanchese, Roanoke 
Island, in 1923. 

1 Up steps the cabin boy, and the cabin boy said he : 
'What will you give me to sink the Exellin. 

If I sink her in the lowland so low. my boys.' said he. 
*If I sink her in the lowland sea?' 

2 'I have riches and I have land. 

Besides I've a daughter and she will be at your command. 
If you will sink her in the lowland so low, my boys.' said 

he, 
'If you'll sink her in the lowland sea.' 

3 This boy had a jar* all fitten for the use; 
* This is a curious corruption of "auger." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I95 

Four and twenty holes he (hd hore into the sloop. 

So he sunk him in the lowland so low, my boys, said he, 

So he sunk hinr"* in the lowland sea. 

4 Some were playing cards and others throwing dice. 
While captain and mate was both giving good advice ; 
Then he sank her in the lowland so low, my boys, said he, 
So he sunk her in the lowland sea. 

5 This boy dived his best, and swam against the tide, 
He swam till he came to his master's side. 

For he had sunk in the lowland so low, my boys, said he. 
He had sunk her in the lowland sea. 

6 'Master, oh master,' this poor boy he cried, 
'You may take me or Fll float with the tide.' 

'Fll hang you, Fll shoot you, Fll send you with the tide. 
If ever I thought my daughter would be your bride. 
Though you have sunk her in the lowland so low, boys,' 

said he ; 
And he sunk her in the lowland sea. 

7 The mate he picked him up and he laid him on the deck. 
In four and twenty minutes his soul had gone to rest. 
Though he had sunk her in the lowland so low, my boys, 

said he ; 
And he sunk her in the lowland sea. 

E 
'Lowland Lonesome Low.' Contributed by Frank Proffitt of Sugar 
Grove, Watauga county, 1937. Four stanzas, corresponding to stanzas 
I. 4. 5. 7 of A. 

48 

The Mermaid 

(Child 289) 

Though this ballad is not old — the earliest record of it that Child 
found is in a Newcastle garland tentatively dated 1765 — the belief 
that the sight of a mermaid means disaster for seamen is very old. 
For the vogue of 'The Mermaid' in songbooks and stall print, see 
Kittredge's note in JAFL xxx 333; for its occurrence as traditional 
song in recent times, see BSM loi and add to the references there 
given North Carolina (FSRA 46-7), Florida (FSF 328-9), Arkan- 
sas (OFS I 203), Missouri (OFS i 202, 204), and Illinois (JAFL 
LX 232-8). Our two texts, only one of which is from North 
Carolina tradition, are peculiar in not using the familiar "landlub- 
bers lie down below" refrain. 

" There seems to be some confusion here and in stanza 5 between the 
sinking of the vessel and the sinking of the cabin boy himself. 



[96 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



'Oh, the Lamp Burns Dimly Down Below.' Contributed by Miss Amy 
Henderson of Worry, Burke county, in 191 4. The refrain, which 
clearly derives from the more familiar form, is without parallel, except 
in a fragment in the Virginia collection (TBV 528). 

1 The first to come up was the captain of the ship. 
And a brave old tar was he. 

Says he, 'I've a wife in Merrie England; 
This night she is watching for me.' 

Oh, the lamps burn dimly down below, down below. 

Oh, the lamps burn dimly down below. 

2 The next to come up was the captain's first mate, 
And a brave young man was he. 

Says he, 'I've a sweetheart in Merrie England; 
This night she is waiting for me.' 

3 The next to come up was the little cabin boy, 
And a brave young lad was he. 

Says he, T've a mother in Merrie England ; 
This night she is praying for me.' 

4 The last to come up was the greasy old cook, 
And a brave old tar was he. 

Says he, 'All my pots and all my kettles too 
Have gone to the bottom of the sea.' 



No title. Reported by Thomas Leary of Durham as known by his 
brother, who learned it on Cape Cod. Although not from North Caro- 
lina tradition it is given her because it varies rather widely from other 
versions, not only in the refrain but also in the text. 

1 In the gallant fleet 

There was no ship so fine 

As the brig-rigged lugger Maid o' Home; 
And the galley there was mine. 

Chorus: 
Oh long, long may the loud waves roar 
On the rocks below the key ; 
But the Maid o' Home will turn no more. 
No more my wife I will see. 

2 She was standing out above the banks 
When bosun seen a sight so fair : 

A sea-witch fine upon the swell 
Combing her golden hair. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I97 

Her comb was of the finest pearl, 
Her mirror like the sun. 
I have not seen a prettier maid, 
A prettier maid not none. 

She sang a song so soft and sweet 
The crew could not move for the sound. 
And where the Maid o' Home struck hard 
It were fifty fathom down. 

Then up there stepped the gallant mate, 
His face was white and pale. 
'Stand fast, stand fast, ye Plymouth men ; 
No more we'll ever sail.' 

Then up there sprang the captain bold, 
A fearsome man was he. 
'Stand fast, stand fast, ye sailor men ; 
Your homes you'll never see. 

'I have a wife, all neat and fair 
And dressed in holland fine ; 
But never more will I see her 
Or tho.se broad lands of mine.' 

The sea-witch sang so loud and clear 
Above the roaring waves, 
And all of us were there to hear ; 
We knew it was our knell. 

'Come comb my hair for me a while, 
Come stroke my hair so fair, 
And you will never want your home, 
Or your wife that weeps so sore.' 

'I will not comb your hair a while 
Nor stroke your hair so fair ; 
But I will always want my home 
And my wife that weeps so sore.' 

The cabin boy, he wept with fright, 
The seas they were so high. 
And all of us upon that ship, 
We knew our death was nigh. 

The ship it strained and rocked and tore. 
Our pretty Maid o' Home. 
And then we knew that she would no more 
The broad, broad seas to roam. 



198 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

17. Three times around went the Maid o' Home, 
Three times around went she. 
And then she sank with her sailor-men all 
To the bottom of the sea. 

14 In Plymouth there does stand a church 
With many a woeful wife 
Who mourns for her dear sailor-man 
Who's losted of his life. 



49 

Trooper and Maid 
(Child 299) 

Child lists a number of broadside ballads of the same general 
quality and character as this, but the identity of this particular one 
is assured by its metrical structure with its feminine rhymes on the 
even-numbered lines and the "able-stable-table" rhymes. For its 
occurrence as traditional song, see BSI 188. It is found, though 
not very frequently, both in New England and in the South, in the 
Ozarks (OFS i 213-14), and as far west as Indiana (in Indiana in 
combination with 'Young Hunting'). Very likely its actual cur- 
rency is greater than its appearance in collections would indicate. 

'The Bugle Boy.' Secured in 191 5 by Thomas R. Smith of Zionville, 
Watauga county, from the recitation ("she can sing it, but her voice 
is not very good") of Mrs. Polly Rayfield. All that she remembered 
was the first five stanzas. Later Mrs. Peggy Perry, "who knows about 
all the song," supplied the last stanza and a half. 

1 She look-ed east and she look-ed west, 
She saw the soldier a-comin' ; 

She knew him by the horse he rode, 
Because she dearly loved him. 

2 She took the horse by the rein 
And led him to the stable. 

Saying, 'Here's oats and corn for the soldier's horse; 
Feed high, for we are able.' 

3 She took him by the hand 
And led him to the table, 
Saying, 'Here's cakes and wine; 
Eat and drink, for we are able.' 

4 She raised up from the table-side, 
Her milk-white dress a-flouncin': 
He pulled off his bugle cloths 
And went to bed with a lady. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH I99 

'I hear the rooster crow, 
And 1 must be a-goin'.' 
'Oh. dear, don't leave me here, 
For I am forever ruined.' 



'If it is a boy you can name it after me, 

And when he's twenty-one you can send him off to sea. 

Or with a grey uniform and blue jacket on 

He can fight for his country like his father used to do.^ 

'If it is a girl you can hire it a nurse 

With gold in her pocket and silver in her purse. 



50 
The Dilly Song 

This cumulative number song (or carol, for such it may be 
called, at least in English ; the meanings set down for the numbers — 
where a meaning can be made out — are for the most part Biblical 
or doctrinal), variously known as The Tzvelve Apostles, The Ten 
Commandments, I Will Sing You One 0, and by other names, is 
traceable in English as far back as the seventeenth century and 
elsewhere still further back. As W. W. Newell (JAFL iv 215-20) 
and Leah R. C. Yoffie (SFLQ iv 73-5) have pointed out, it has a 
parallel in a chant, Echod Mi Yodea, sung by Jews at the feast of 
the Passover. Archer Taylor (in the Handworterbuch des deutschen 
Mdrchens 11 171-2) shows that it has a much wider range and 
suggests that it has its roots in Sanskrit culture. For further treat- 
ment, see, besides the articles mentioned above, Sharp's notes on it 
in his Folk-Songs from Somerset, Baring-Gould's in Songs of the 
West, Mrs. Greenleaf's in Ballcds and Sea Songs of Newfoundland, 
Kittredge's bibliography in JAFL xxx 335-6, Archer Taylor's in 
SFLQ IV 161, Donald E. Bond's in SFLQ iv 247-50; and espe- 
cially, Dr. Yoffie's recent detailed study in JAFL lxii 382-411. 
Analyzing and comparing versions found in Hebrew, Latin, French, 
Breton, Spanish, Italian, modern Greek, German, Swiss, Dutch, 
Danish, and the English-speaking countries, she concludes that at 
least the European forms of the song all go back to the Hebrew 
Passover chant which was printed at Prague in 1526 — earlier than 
any datable version in the European vernaculars.^ 

* Mrs. Perry thought it should perhaps be "union" instead of "coun- 
try" and "daddy" instead of "father." 

It should be observed that the last six lines are metrically of a differ- 
ent pattern from the preceding stanzas. They fit the situation well 
enough, but belong really to a different song. 

^ Her study deals also with two other number songs, Nos. 51 and 52 
in the present collection. And she throws out (loc. cit., p. 403) the 
very interesting suggestion that number songs originate among literate 
peoples. 



200 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

The song is very widely known in the English-speaking world. 
It has been reported as traditional song from Scotland, the Shet- 
lands, Derbyshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire, 
Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Dorset, Somerset, 
Devonshire, and Cornwall; from Newfoundland, Maine, Vermont, 
Massachusetts, New York, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, 
North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Illinois, and Michigan. The 
meaning attached to the numbers is in some cases fairly clear and 
constant, in others varies widely, and in some pretty much defies 
interpretation. There are two texts in the Brown Collection. 



'Singing the Ten Commandments.' Sent in in 1914 by I. T. Poole of 
Morganton, Burke county, who had it frorn "Miss Mattie Dobson, at 
Gibbs, N. C. It is sung in the neighborhood. The obtainer does not 
know anything regarding the origin of the song." In the manuscript 
the speeches are assigned antiphonally to "chorus" and "questioner," and 
are not written as verse ; but it seems more likely that there are pri- 
marily two speakers (singers, rather) and that it becomes a chorus only 
in the cumulative repetition. It begins with number five, but the chorus 
shows how the numbers are defined from one on. Despite the title, it 
runs to the number twelve — omitting three and four. It is here printed 
in verse lines, the speakers distinguished by quotation marks. 

1 'I will sing.' 'What will you sing?' 

'I'll sing the fifth.' 'What is the fifth?' 
'Five is the firemen in the boat, 
And two of them were strangers ; 
Two of them were little white babes 
All dressed in morning granger ; 
One of them was God alone, 
Shout every nation ! 

2 'I will sing.' 'What will you sing?' 
'I'll sing the six.' 'What is the six?' 
'The six is the gospel preacher; 
Five is the firemen in the boat, 
And two of these were strangers ; 
Two of them were little white babes 
All dressed in morning granger : 
One of them was God alone. 
Shout every nation ! 

3 'I will sing.' 'What will you sing?' 

'I will sing the seven.' 'What is the seven?' 

'Seven is the seven stars in the sky, 

And six is the gospel preacher ; 

Five is the firemen in the boat, 

And two of them are strangers ; 

Two of them were little white babes 

All dressed in morning granger ; 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 

One of them was God alone. 
Shout every nation ! 

*I will sing.' 'What will you sing?' 
'I'll sing the eight.' 'What is the eight?' 
'Eight is the eight archangels ; 
Seven is the seven stars in the sky, 
And six is the gospel preacher ; 
Five is the firemen in the hoat, 
And two of them are strangers : 
Two of them are little white halves 
All dressed in morning granger ; 
One of them is God alone. 
Shout every nation ! 

'I will sing.' 'What will you sing?' 

'I'll sing the nine.' 'W^hat is the nine?' 

'Nine is the night that the star shone bright, 

And eight is the eight archangels ; 

Seven is the seven stars in the sky, 

And six is the gospel preacher ; 

Five is the firemen in the boat, 

And two of them were strangers ; 

Two of them were little white babes 

All dressed in morning granger ; 

One of them was God alone, 

Shout every nation ! 

'I will sing.' 'What will you sing?' 

'I'll sing the ten.' 'What is the ten?' 

'Ten is the ten commandments ; 

Nine is the night that the star shone bright. 

And eight is the eight archangels ; 

Seven is the seven stars in the sky. 

And six is the gospel preacher ; 

Five is the firemen in the boat, 

And two of them were strangers;' 

Two of them were little white babes 

All dressed in morning granger ; 

One of them was God alone. 

Shout every nation ! 

'I will smg.' 'What will you sing?' 

'I'll sing the eleven.' 'What is the eleven?' 

'Eleven is the eleven apostles ; 

Ten is the ten commandments ; 

Nine is the night the star shone bright, 

And eight is the eight archangels ; 



NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Seven is the seven stars in the sky, 
And six is the gospel preacher ; 
Five is the firemen in the boat, 
And two of them were strangers ; 
Two of them were httle white babes 
All dressed in morning granger ; 
One of them was God alone, 
Shout every nation ! 

'I will sing.' 'What will you sing?' 

'I'll sing the twelve.' 'What is the twelve?' 

'Twelve is the twelve disciples ; 

Eleven is the eleven apostles ; 

Ten is the ten commandments; 

Nine is the night that the star shone bright. 

And eight is the eight archangels ; 

Seven is the seven stars in the sky, 

And six is the gospel preacher; 

Five is the firemen in the boat, 

And two of them were strangers; 

Two of them were little white babes 

All dressed in morning granger ; 

One of them was God alone, 

Shout every nation ! 



'Come and I will sing you.' As sung by Miss Edith Walker of Boone. 
Watauga county, in 1940. 

1 'Come and I will sing you.' 
'What will you sing?' 
'Sing you one.' 

'What is your one?' 

'One of them is God alone, 

Shall forever 'main. So 

2 'Come and I will sing you.' 
'What will you sing?' 
'Sing you two.' 

'What are your two?' 
'Two of them are lily-white babes 
Clothed the morning green. 
One of them is God alone, 
Shall forever 'main. So 



'Come and I will sing you.' 
'What will you sing?' 
'Sing you three.' 
'What are your three?' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 203 

'Three of them are strangers ; 
Two of them are lily-white babes 
Clothed the morning green ; 
One of them is God alone, 
Shall forever 'main. So 

'Come and I will sing you.* 
'What will you sing?' 
'Sing you four.' 
'What are your four?' 
'Four gospel preachers, 
Three of them are strangers ; 
Two of them are lily-white babes 
Clothed the morning green ; 
One of them is God alone, 
Shall forever 'main. So 

'Come and I will sing you.' 

'What will you sing?' 

'Sing you five.' 

'What are your five ?' 

'Five of the ferrymen on the boat; 

Four gospel preachers ; 

Three of them are strangers ; 

Two of them are lily-white babes 

Clothed the morning green ; 

One of them is God alone, 

Shall forever 'main. So 

'Come and I will sing you.' 
'What will you sing?' 
'Sing you six.' 
'What are your six?' 
'Six cheerful waters ; 
Five of the ferrymen on the boat ; 
Four gospel preachers ; 
Three of them are strangers ; 
Two of them are lily-white babes 
Clothed the morning green ; 
One of them is God alone, 
Shall forever 'main. So 

'Come and I will sing you.' 

'W^hat will you sing?' 

'Sing you seven.' 

'What are your seven?' 

'Seven of the seven stars in the sky ; 

Six cheerful waters ; 



204 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Five of the ferrymen on the boat ; 
Four gospel preachers ; 
Three of them are strangers ; 
Two of them are Uly-white babes 
Clothed the morning green ; 
One of them is God alone, 
Shall forever 'main. So 

8 'Come and I will sing you.' 
'What will you sing?' 
'Sing you eight.' 

'What are your eight?' 

'Eight's the eight archangels ; 

Seven of the seven stars in the sky; 

Six cheerful waters ; 

Five of the ferrymen on the boat ; 

Four gospel preachers ; 

Three of them are strangers ; 

Two of them are lily-white babes 

Clothed the morning green ; 

One of them is God alone, 

Shall forever 'main. So 

9 'Come and I will sing you.' 
'What will you sing?' 
'Sing you nine.' 

'What are your nine?' 

'Nine of the moon shines bright and clear; 

Eight's the eight archangels; 

Seven of the seven stars in the sky ; 

Six cheerful waters ; 

Five of the ferrymen on the boat ; 

Four gospel preachers ; 

Three of them are strangers ; 

Two of them are lily-white babes 

Clothed the morning green ; 

One of them is God alone, 

Shall forever 'main. So 

10 'Come and I will sing you.' 
'What will you sing?' 
'Sing you ten.' 
'What are your ten?' 
'Ten's the ten commandments ; 
Nine of the moon shines bright and clear; 
Eight's the eight archangels ; 
Seven of the seven stars in the sky; 
Six cheerful waters ; 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 205 

Five of the ferrymen on the boat ; 
Four gospel preachers ; 
Three of them are strangers ; 
Two of them are hly-white babes 
Clothed the morning green ; 
One of them is God alone, 
Shall forever 'main. So 

'Come and I will sing you.' 

'What wmII you sing?' 

'Sing you eleven.' 

'What are your 'leven?' 

'Eleven's the 'leven that's gone to heaven ; 

Ten's the ten commandments ; 

Nine of the moon shines bright and clear; 

Eight's the eight archangels ; 

Seven of the seven stars in the sky; 

Six cheerful waters ; 

Five of the ferrymen on the boat ; 

Four gospel preachers ; 

Three of them are strangers ; 

Two of them are lily-white babes 

Clothed the morning green ; 

One of them is God alone, 

Shall forever 'main. So 

'Come and I will sing you.' 

'What will you sing?' 

'Sing you twelve.' 

'What are your twelve?' 

'Twelve's the twelve apostles ; 

Eleven's the eleven that's gone to heaven; 

Ten's the ten commandments ; 

Nine of the moon shines bright and clear ; 

Eight's the eight archangels ; 

Seven of the seven stars in the sky ; 

Six cheerful waters ; 

Five of the ferrymen on the boat ; 

Four gospel preachers ; 

Three of them are strangers; 

Two of them are lily-white babes 

Clothed the morning green ; 

One of them is God alone, 

Shall forever 'main. 



206 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

51 

The Twelve Blessings of Mary 

This is another carol of numbers. Its theme goes back to the 
hymnody of the medieval church. The number of blessings — or 
joys, as they are more often called — was at first five. There are 
two poems on the Five Joys of Mary in Carleton Brown's Eng- 
lish Lyrics of the Thirteenth Century, Nos. 18 and 41. The same 
author's Religious Lyrics of the Fifteenth Century has two on the 
Five Joys and four "on the Seven Joys, this latter number having' 
been adopted from the French. None of these, however, is much 
like the carol of later English and American tradition. William 
J. Phillips's Carols, Their Origin, Music, and Connection iinth 
Mystery Plays gives a text of 'The Seven Joys of Mary,' "once 
very popular in the West Country," which shows by its refrain that 
it belongs to the same tradition as the texts reported in recent 
years as traditional songs in England and America; and also a 
fifteenth-century 'Carol of the Five Joys,' from the Sloan manu- 
script, which carries the same refrain as our North Carolina text. 
I have found but one English text that shows twelve blessings, that 
from Gloucestershire (JFSS v 19) ; others have ten; from Somerset 
(FSSom No. 125) ; or nine: from Sussex (JFSS v 20), from Corn- 
wall (JFSS V 319-20); or eight: from Cornwall (JFSS viii 115- 
16) ; or seven: from Cornwall (JFSS v 18-19) and stall prints by 
Catnach and Fortey described by Miss Broadwood (JFSS v 320). 
American texts, on the other hand, pretty regularly run to twelve; 
some from Vermont (NGMS 185-7), one from Connecticut (JAFL 
V 325 — though the tenth and eleventh could not be remembered by 
the reporter), one from Kentucky (JAFL xlviii 391-2), one from 
North Carolina (JAFL xlviii 388-9), and one from Georgia 
(FSA 22-3, sung by Negroes, especially at Christmas time). Of 
the texts recently reported by Davis as found in Virginia (FSV 
297-8) some have twelve blessings and some five. One from North 
Carolina (JAFL xlviii 390) runs only to ten. One from New 
York (NYFLQ iii 303-4) has eleven. Nearly all of these have 
the characteristic refrain found in our text below. See also Dr. 
Yoffie's paper in JAFL lxii 401-3. 

'The Twelve Blessings of Mary.' From Mrs. Arizona Hughes of Hen- 
son Creek, Avery county, in 1939. The last three lines of stanza i are 
the refrain, repeated after each stanza. 

I The very first blessing Mary had 
'Tv^as the blessing of one ; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Was God's eternal Son, 
Was God's eternal Son. 
Like Emmanuel in glory be 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost 
Through all eternity. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 

The very next blessing Mary had, 
She had the blessing of two ; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Could read the Bible through, 
Could read the Bible through. 

The very next blessing Mary had. 
She had the blessing of three; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Could make the blind to see. 
Could make the blind to see. 

The very next blessing Mary had. 
She had the blessing of four ; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Could turn the rich to poor. 
Could turn the rich to poor. 

The very next blessing Mary had, 
She had the blessing of five ; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Could make the dead alive. 
Could make the dead alive. 

The very next blessing Mary had. 
She had the blessing of six ; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Could heal the lame and sick,^ 
Could heal the lame and sick. 

The very next blessing Mary had. 
She had the blessing of seven ; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Could carry the keys to heaven. 
Could carry the keys to heaven. 

The very next blessing Mary had. 
She had the blessing of eight; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Could make the crooked straight. 
Could make the crooked straight. 

The very next blessing Mary had, 
She had the blessing of nine ; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Could change the water to wine, 
Could change the water to wine. 
Or, "Could bear the Crucifix." 



208 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

10 The very next blessing Mary had, 
She had the blessing of ten ; 

To think that her son, Jesus, 
Was a friend to sinful men, 
Was a friend to sinful men. 

1 1 The very next blessing Mary had, 
She had the blessing of eleven ; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Could open the gate of heaven. 
Could open the gate of heaven. 

12 The very next blessing Mary had, 
She had the blessing of twelve ; 
To think that her son, Jesus, 
Came dovi^n on earth to dv^ell. 
Came down on earth to dwell. 
Like Immanuel in glory be 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost 
Through all eternity. 



52 

The Twelve Days of Christmas 

Another number song (hardly a carol, since there is nothing reli- 
gious about it), preserving the memory of an earlier time when 
the Christmas season extended from Christmas Day to the Feast 
of the Epiphany, twelve days later. Cf. Shakespeare's Twelfth 
Night. How far back the song goes the editor has not been able 
to discover, but it has frequendy been reported from tradition in 
recent years, both in Great Britain and the United States. See 
BSM 512-13 and JAFL lxii 399-401. Lady Gomme has it in her 
Traditional Games 11 315-21, and Rimbault in his Nursery Rhytnes 
52-53. The series of gifts is pretty much the same in all texts. 
The fact that two of our texts go back to the Northern states is 
possibly symptomatic; it seems to be more widely known in the 
North than in the South. 

A 
'Old Christmas Ballad.' Contributed by Miss Helen H. Sails of Ox- 
ford, Granville county, in 1934, with the notation : "These verses were 
given to me by my father, Dr. Alfred Sails, who in his boyhood learned 
them from his father, Charles Sails, a native of Clarenceville, Province 
of Quebec. My father told me that, after twenty years, he recalled 
these old lines associated with his childhood in Burke, New York." 

1 On the first day of Christmas beloved sent to me 
A fine partridge on a pear tree. 

2 On the second day of Christmas beloved sent to me 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 209 

Two turtle doves 

And a fine partridge on a pear tree. 

The gifts are repeated, cumulatively, up to twelve, the twelfth stanza 
running 

On the twelfth day of Christmas beloved sent to me 

Twelve ships sailing. 

Eleven drums beating, 

Ten ladies dancing, 

Nine lords knitting, 

Eight bulls roaring, 

Seven swans swimming, 

Six geese laying, 

Five gold rings, 

And four macumaboy,^ 

Three French horns, 

And two turtle doves, 

And a fine partridge on a pear tree. 



The Twelve Days of Christmas.' Contributed by Mrs. J. R. Chamber- 
lain of Raleigh in 1924, as sung by her husband's mother, Mrs. Ervilla 
Chamberlain, from western New York, "whose people were Americans 
of several generations at the time of the Revolution." This text is 
cumulative in the same fashion as A, so that it will be sufficient to give 
the last stanza : 

The twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me 

Twelve hunters hunting, 

Eleven ladies leaping. 

Ten tailors stitching, 

Nine fiddlers fiddling, 

Eight lords a-dancing. 

Seven swans a-swimming, 

Six geese a-laying. 

Five gold rings. 

Four Cornish birds. 

Three French hens, 

Two turtle doves. 

And a partridge upon a pear tree. 

C 
'Twelve Days of Christmas.' Secured by Mrs. Sutton from the sing- 
ing of Lizzie Fletcher of State Line Hill, Watauga county. She carried 

* On this word Miss Sails notes : "As my father had no copy of these 
verses, and recalled ihem only as he used to sing them in his boyhood, 
I do not know the correct words for the phonetic 'macumaboy.' Per- 
haps a kind of 'oboe' is indicated." The customary word in this place 
is "colley birds" or "colored birds" ; sometimes, as in text B, "Cornish 
birds." 



2IO NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

the song only to the number nine. "This was all she knew. She said 
there were three more gifts, all birds except the ninth. She did not 
know what collie birds and French hens are. Neither do I." Mrs. 
Sutton reports this only for the ninth day, as follows : 

I partridge, 2 turtle doves, 3 collie birds, 4 French hens, 
5 gold wrens, 6 geese a-feeding, 7 swans a-swimming, 
8 nightingales a-singing, 9 deer a-running. . . . 



53 

I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In 

This old Christmas carol — Phillips, in his Carols, Their Origin, 
Music, and Connection xvith Mystery Plays 48-50, gives a nine- 
stanza text with the remark that it is "probably of fifteenth-century 
origin" — has been reported from tradition in Hertfordshire (ECS 
III), Massachusetts (FSONE 284-5), New York City (JAFL v 
326), West Virginia (FSMEU 163), Kentucky (JAFL li 17), 
and Michigan (BSSM 168).^ Our collection contains unfortunately 
only the following fragment. 

'On Christmas Day.' Without date or indication of source among Dr. 
Brown's manuscripts, labeled by him "Carol." 

I saw three ships come sailing in 
On Christmas day, on Christmas day, 
I saw three ships come sailing in 
On Christmas day in the morning. 



54 

Dives and Lazarus 1 

This version of the Biblical story, known also in Virginia (TBV 
175-6) and Tennessee (SharpK 11 29, SFLQ li 67-8), is not — as 
Barry (BFSSNE i 12) pointed out— a text of the old Enghsh 
carol of the same title but a later and independent versifying of 
the Bible story. Copies so far reported agree so closely as to sug- 
gest a printed source, but no such source has been found. 

'The Rich Man and Lazarus.' Reported by L G. Greer of Boone, 
Watauga county; not dated, but about 191 5- 16. 

I There was a man in ancient times, 
The scripture doth inform us, 
Whose pomp and grandeur and whose crimes 

^ Rimbault in his Nursery Rhymes 26-7 reports it not as a Christmas 
carol but as a sort of wedding song; the ship contains three pretty 
girls, and the final stanza runs : 

One could whistle, and one could sing, 

The other could play the violin ; 

Such joy was there at my wedding 

On new-year's day in the morning. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 

Were great and very miinerous. 
This rich man fared sumptuously each day 
And was dressed in purple fme linen ; 
He ate and drank, hut scorned to pray, 
And spent his day in singing. 

A poor man lay at the rich man's gate, 

To help himself unahle, 

And there he lay to humbly wait 

For the crumbs from his rich table. 

But not one crumb would this happy cure (epicure)' 

Ever aye pretend to send him. 

The dogs took pity and licked his sores, 

More ready to befriend him. 

This poor man died at the rich man's gate. 

Where angel bands attended ; 

Straightway to Abraham's bosom flown. 

Where all his sorrows ended. 

The rich man died and was buried too, 

But oh, his dreadful station ; 

With Abraham and Lazarus both in view 

He landed in damnation. 

He cried: 'O father Abraham, 
Send Lazarus with cold water, 
For I'm tormented in these flames, 
With these tormenting tortures.' 
Says Abraham: 'Son, remember well. 
You once did God inherit. 
But now at last your doom's in hell 
Because you would not cherish,' 



55 
Dives and Lazarus H 

This is avowedly the production of a local ballad-maker of 
Watauga county. Thomas Smith of Boone in that county reports 
it as follows: "The above song sung to me May 7th, 1915, by Ed- 
mund B. Miller, who composed it himself, he says, over 30 years 
ago. He has sung it in this county to hundreds of people. Mr. 
Miller is a native bard or song-maker ; he has composed many songs 
on murders, hangings, etc. His age is 65 or more years. In size 
he is a giant, being probably the largest man in the county. He 
lives in Meat Camp township." The title given is again 'The Rich 
Man and Lazarus.' 

* The spelling "liappy cure" is so glossed also in the SharpK te.\t. 



212 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Come all thoughtless people by whom Adam came, 
The poor and the rich, the blind and the lame, 
Close in with the words of our blessed Lord 
Or you'll burn forever like he says in his word. 

You've read of the rich man and beggar likewise. 
The beggar did die and to heaven did rise ; 
The rich man died also, and was so surprised 
When awaken in hell and did lift up his eyes. 

He saw Abraham afar off in mansions above 
And Eazarus in his bosom in mansions of love. 
He called to Abraham to send him relief, 
'For I am sadly in misery and grief.' 

He said : 'Son, remember when yQU lived of old 
Dres't in your fine linen, your purple and gold, 
And Lazarus lay sick, covered in boils. 
You had no compassion to pity his woes.' 

He said : 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me. 
Send one to my home; Fve five brothers more; 
When they hear of me and my sad state 
I hope they'll repent before it's too late.' 

'They've done had warning to stop and repent, 

Believe in our Savior and the Prophets sent ; 

If they won't believe and come to the Lord 

They would not believe though one sent from the dead. 

'There is also a great gulf between me and thee. 
Those wish to pass cannot come on to me, 
But there you must stay and lament your sad state. 
For now you are praying when it is too late.' 

56 

The Romish Lady 

For the history of this ballad of Reformation times, see BSM 450 
— and add to the references there given Virginia (FSV 37-8), 
North Carolina (SFLQ v 147-9)- Florida (FSF 388-91), Ohio 
(BSO 220-2), Indiana (BSI 257-9), Illinois (JAFL lix 207-8), 
Michigan (BSSM 363-4), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 40, from 
Kentucky). Jackson prints a text in WSSU 141, and gives a list 
of old songbooks in which it is found (ibid., 188-9). There are 
two copies of it in our collection, both representing the same text. 
One is recent, secured by Professor Abrams from Mary Bost of 
Statesville. Iredell county ; the other from his Adams manuscript 
of the early nineteenth century, for an account of which see the 
headnote to 'A Brave Irish Lady,' No. 90, below. The latter is 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 2X3 

given here literatim froin the manuscript (but not punctatim ; the 
pointing is the editor's). In a few places footnotes are used for 
corrections from the Bost text. 

1 There liv'cl a romish lady 
Brought up in popery. 
Her mother often told her 
The priest she must obey. 
'Oh pardon me, dear mother, 
I humbly pray the now, 

For unto those false idols 
I can no longer bow.' 

2 Assisted by her handmaid 
Her bible she conceld, 

And thus she gaind instruction 
Till god his love Reveld. 
No longer she prostrate^ 
To pictures dect in gold ; 
But soon she was betrayed 
And her bible from her stold. 

3 'I'll bow to my dear Jesus 
And worship god unseen 
And live by faith forever ; 
The works of man are vain. 
I can not worship idols 
Nor pictures made by man. 
Dear mother, use your pleasure, 
But pardon if you can.' 

4 With grief and great vexation 
Her mother strate did go 

To inform the Romish clurgy 
The cause of all her woe. 
The preast was soon assemblyd^ 
And for this maid did call. 
They forst her in the dungeon 
To fright her soul withall. 

5 The more they strove to fright her 
The more she did indure ; 

Altho her age was tender 
Her faith was firm & shure. 
The chains of gold so costly 
They from this lady took ; 
' Miss Best's text reads "No more she prostrates herself" ; the Mis- 
souri A text, keeping the verse in better order, has "No longer would 
she prostrate." ^. . . i j .. 

*The other text reads, rightly, "The priests were soon assembled. 



214 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

And she with all her spirit 
The pride of life forsook. 

6 Before the pope they brought her 
In hopes of her Return; 

But [there^] she was condemnd 
In awfuU flames to burn. 
Before the place of torment 
They brought her speedily. 
With lifted hands to heaven 
She then agreed to die. 

7 There being many ladys 
Assembled at that place, 
She lift her Eyes to heaven 
And blest Redeeming grace: 
'Weep not, you tender ladys, 
Shed not a tear for me ; 
While my poor bodys burning 
The lord my soul shall se. 

8 'Yourselves you [need]* to pity. 
Your bodys must decay. 

Dear ladys turn to Jesus ; 

No longer make Delay.' 

In came her aged mother 

Her daughter to behold, 

And in her hand she brought her 

An image, Dect in gold. 

9 'Go, take from me those idols. 
Remove them from my sight. 
Restore to me my bible 

^ In which I take delight. 
Alas ! my aged mother 
Was on my Ruin brink f 
It was you who did betray me. 
But I am innocent. 

10 'Tormenters, use your leasure 
And do as you think best. 
[I hope*^] my blessed Jesus 
Will take my soul to rest.' 
As soon as these words were spoken 
Up stept the man of Death 

' Supplied. 

* Supplied. 

" The other text has, rightly, "bent." 

' Supplied from the other text. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 215 

And kindled up the fire 
To stop her mortal breath. 

1 1 Instead of gold and bracelets 

With chanes they bound her fast. 

She crys. 'my god glory,'' 

Or now I sink at last. 

With Jesus & his angels 

Forever I shall Dwell. 

God pardon preast and people ! 

And so I bid farewell.' 

57 

'Let's Go A-Hunting,' Says Richard to Robert 

The old English folk song of the hunting of the wren on St. 
Stephen's Day, recorded in Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England, 
Northall's English Folk-Rhymes, and Miss Mason's Nursery Rhymes 
and Country Songs, known also, at least in earlier times, in Scot- 
land (Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs ii 210-11 of the 
1869 reprint), remembered in Yorkshire (JFSS v 76), Esse.x (Hen- 
derson's Folk-Eore of the Northern Counties 125), Oxfordshire 
(JFSS V 77-8). Gloucestershire (FSUT 184-5), and the Isle of 
Man (JFSS vii 177-80), persists only fragmentarily in American 
tradition: in Massachusetts (FSONE 230-3), Texas (PFLST vi 
70-1), and Nebraska (ABS 235-6). It is listed in Miss Pound's 
Midwestern syllabus. In these American texts the wren has some- 
times disappeared entirely, as it has in our North Carolina version. 
From Buffalo, New York, is reported (JAFL vi 231-2) a song 
about the wren and St. Stephen's Day, but there are no hunters. 
For the mythological background of the rite as preserved in the 
Isle of Man, see The Golden Bough, Part V, vol. 11 (1912 edition), 
pp. 317-21. Frazer explains the killing of the wren as a case of 
tlie king sacrificed — the wren, he says, is called a king by the an- 
cient Greeks and Romans and the modern Italians, Spaniards, 
French, Germans, Dutch, Danes, Swedes, English, and Welsh. 

No title but the first line. Contributed in August 1916 by Mrs. E. E. 
Moffitt as "words of a song sung by 'Aunt Sophy,' the mammy-nurse 
of the children of Hon. Josephus Daniels and wife Addie (Bagley) 
Daniels." 

1 'Let's go a-hunting,' says Richard to Robert, 
'Let's go a-hunting,' says Robin to Bobbin, 
'Well, well," says Robin to Bobbin, 

'Well, well,' says John all alone. 

2 'Let's kill a squirrel,' says Richard to Robert. 



'Let's kill a squirrel.' says John all alone. 
'Let's kill a squirrel,' says every one. 
^ The other text, more logically, reads "My God, give power." 



3l6 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 'Shoot, shoot,' says Richard to Robert, 
'Shoot, shoot,' says Robin to Bobbin, 
'Shoot, shoot,' says John all alone, 
'Shoot, shoot,' says every one. 

58 

The Ghost's Bride 

Strictly speaking, this ballad has not been found elsewhere. 'A 
Gentleman of Exeter,' reported from tradition in Vermont (NGMS 
5-7), Tennessee (FSSH 147-9), and North Carolina (SharpK 11 
162-3), tells a similar story but is quite different in temper. It is 
apparently derived from a chapbook text discovered by Barry in 
the Harvard library and printed by Henry in FSSH 149-52. It 
also bears some relation to a Manx ballad of which a partial trans- 
lation is given in SharpK 11 390-1. In all of these the story is 
connected with the town of Exeter, and there is a fairly elaborate 
account of the relations between the girl and her lover — he upbraids 
her orally and by letter, she answers him saucily, and he goes off 
and drowns himself. In 'The Ghost's Bride' the story is simplified 
and much improved. At the opening it appears that the lover has 
been dead, or at least not heard from, for a year; there is no meet- 
ing between him and the girl, no mockery on her part ; at the end 
we find that the lover was killed by his brother and supplanter. 
Moreover, the story runs steadily — and well-languaged — to its tragic 
conclusion. The texts of 'A Gentleman of Exeter' are badly cor- 
rupted in places. Barry thought highly enough of it to say that 
Child would have included it in a supplementary volume if he had 
lived. Had he known 'The Ghost's Bride' he would have had 
much stronger ground for such a judgment.^ 

'Ghost's Bride.' Secured by Mrs. Sutton — date not given, but about 
1920 — from a Mrs. Graybeal, under conditions described as follows: 

"One cold gloomy evening in early winter I spent the night with 
Mrs. Graybeal. After supper we sat around the fire and I told the 
children some fairy stories. 

" 'Mammy knows a ghost tale,' the little girl told me proudly. 'Hit's 
a song but hit's the scariest tune you ever heard.' 

"I urged Mrs. Graybeal to sing it. She did so, and I discovered the 
first ballad of the supernatural I ever heard in North Carolina. The 
tune, which is much like Barbary Allen, is weird and plaintive. The 
story is very old. She said her great-aunt used to sing it. 

" 'My aunt knowed more'n a hundred song ballets,' she told me. 
'She sung tribble in church but she sung jes' tunes for us a lot. She 
used to make col' flesh all over me with her ol' tales. This one is all 
I learnt. My aunt was a educated woman too. She wrote this ballet 
fur me.' And in the Bible that lay on the table near was a sheet of 
foolscap upon which this song was copied. The writing was delicate and 

^'Susannah Clargy' (SharpK 11 261, from Virginia) has a similar 
story but is far from being the same ballad. 'The Oxford Man,' re- 
ported by Davis among "Ghost Ballads" found in Virginia (FSV 69), 
is probably a form of 'A Gentleman of Exeter.' I have not seen the 
text. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 217 

regular, many flourishes decorated it and a picture of a man on horse- 
back, crudely drawn but with an unusual vigor and a fine sense of 
dramatic fitness, decorated the top of the slieet. 'Martha Ann Line- 
back' was the name signed at the foot. The date was March 12, 1888. 
Mrs. Graybeal said her great-aunt was then over seventy." 

Stanzas i and 6 seem to be spoken not by actors in the story but 
chorus-like, by the narrator, and are therefore not put in quotation 
marks. 

1 Oh Mary dear, lay by your grief 
And do not sorrow so ; 

Your lover dear he met his death 
More than a year ago. 

2 His brother John to court he canie; 
He kneeled upon his knee : 

'I've loved you true for many a year ; 
Oh, won't you marry me?' 

3 Her gown of black she laid aside, 
Put on a gown of green ; 

She promised for to be his bride. 
She outshone the country's queen, 

4 The wedding day came clear and bright, 
And to the church they went. 

The young folks danced, the children laughed. 
All was on pleasure bent. 

5 He mounted her on a milk-white steed, 
Himself on a prancin' roan. 

Away they rode across the fields 
Toward his brother's home. 

6 Your brother's bride, your brother's home. 
Your brother's prancin' horse. 

You stole them all, John Gordon bold ; 
You'll surely feel remorse. 

7 As she rode up between the trees, 
A-goin' to his home, 

The wind blew cold and the wind blew hard ; 
She thought she heard a groan. 

8 'What is that sound, O husband dear? 
It moans like a heart dismayed.' 

'It is the wind,' John Gordon said, 
'So do not be afraid.' 

9 That night she lay beside him there 
Upon a feather bed. 

The wind blew cold and the wind blew hard. 
She saw his hand was red. 



2l8 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

10 The wind blew cold and the wind blew hard, 
It made a fearsome sound. 

She heard the hoof of a prancin' steed 
Galloping o'er the ground. 

1 1 She heard the sound of the dead man's voice : 
'My brother stole my bride, 

He stole my house and he stole my land. 
He stole my red blood's tide. 

12 'My bones lie bleaching on the rocks 
At the foot of a dark, dark dale. 

He pushed me off the tall rock clifif 
All in the moonlight pale.' 

13 The wind blew cold and the wind blew hard. 
'I'm comin' fur my own. 

My bride I'll take, you keep the rest,' 
She heard the dead man moan. 

14 She saw him stand beside her bed 
All in the moon's pale light. 

'Oh, come with me, my promised bride ; 
My love you shall not slight.' 

1 5 The morning came ; John Gordon woke, 
Woke up to find her gone. 

He searched the house, he searched the grounds ; 
For days the search went on. 

16 Her bones they found in the dark, dark dale 
Beside those of her lover. 

'She was his bride,' the searchers said; 
'She never loved his brother.' 

"Mrs. Graybeal assured me," Mrs. Sutton writes, "that if John Gor- 
don had only buried his brother the ghost would never have come. 
'Humans can't be peaceful tel they're buried,' Aunt Marthy Ann 
said. . . . 'Their souls stays around their bodies tel they's kivered 
with earth, then it goes home.' " 

59 

The Dark Knight 

This poses something of a problem. The fact that in the Col- 
lection the manuscript is anonymous does not necessarily mean that 
it is not genuine. Sometimes Dr. Brown, or his informer, would 
write out the text of a ballad and then would forget to set down 
the informant's name and the time and place at which the text was 
secured. This is what happened in the case of some texts of 'A 
Pretty Fair Maid down in the Garden,' 'Common Bill,' 'The Pale 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 219 

Wildwood Flower,' and several other ballads and songs. Moreover, 
the text itself — the imperfect rhymes in stanzas 4 and 12, the indica- 
tion of lines and stanzas not recalled, and the bald way it tells its 
story — speaks pretty strongly for its traditional character. But the 
editor's best efforts have failed to find this ballad recorded anywhere 
else.^ It seemed on first reading to carry a vague resemblance to 
something half-remembered in Danmarks gamlc Folkcviscr, but a 
careful rereading of that great collection failed to reveal it. One 
feature of the text, the Scotticisms in stanzas 3, 10, 11, 13, are 
suspiciously literary in a North Carolina text. But all things con- 
sidered it seems best to retain it here. If it is an artifact, it is 
uncommonly well done. 

No title. An anonymous and undated sheet. It has an intercalated 
refrain, given here for the first stanza only. 

1 There was a lass all neat and fair — 
Oh runny ba ho 

With middle small and golden hair — 
Oh runny bunny ba ho 

2 She's married a knight all dark and tall 
And she has left her father's hall. 

3 Her mother gret full woeful sair, 
'Oh, I'll not see my daughter mair.' 

4 He's placed her on his milk-white steed, 
And they have gone full many a mile. 

5 They had not gone but forty mile, 
And they came on a golden stile. 

6 'Light down, fair Alice, for you have come home ; 
For I am sick and will no more roam.' 

[Stanza or stanzas missing] 

7 Ten years they lived in the castle fine, 
And she has born him children nine. 

8 



They will not live another dawn. 

9 He's killed the sons all tall and good ; 
He's taken his daughters to the wood, 

10 And there he's hanged his daughters three: 
'And oh, your sorrows you must dree.' 

1 1 The lady saw her bairns were gone. 
She did not live another dawn. 

' Professor Gordon Hall Gerould, to whom I sent a copy of it, tells 
me that he has checked through the Buchan manuscripts in the Widener 
Library without finding it. 



NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



12 He's mounted on his milk-white steed 
And he's gone out across the sea 

13 To seek another maiden fair 
Who'll never see her mother mair. 



60 
The Turkish Factor 

The history and antecedents of this broadside ballad are fully, 
discussed by Bertha McKee Dobie in PTFLS vi 56-8, prefacing 
a print of the ballad (54 stanzas) as written down by Mrs. Emeline 
Brightman Russell of Comanche, Texas, in her old age, in the first 
decade of the present century. The story of the Thankful Dead 
Man goes far back in folklore ; the English ballad is at least as old 
as the early eighteenth century, and has been frequently printed in 
garlands and broadsides. A four-stanza fragment of it has been 
found in Vermont (VFSB 81-2) and there is a manuscript of it 
in Michigan (BSSM 479) ; with the exception of these and Mrs. 
Russell's text it has not been reported from tradition in America 
until now. Our North Carolina text is part of the John Bell 
Henneman collection and was reported on by him to the Modern 
Language Association in 1906, but has not, so far as I can learn, 
hitherto been printed. It is much shortened from the Russell form, 
and is in places rather incoherent, presumably from failure of mem- 
ory. The manuscript is not divided into stanzas, nor punctuated; 
but the piece seems to be conceived as stanzaic and I have accord- 
ingly attempted so to divide it. 

'The Turkish Factor.' From the John Bell Henneman collection, taken 
down in 1906 by H. W. Ticknor from the singing of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Simpkins of Vanceboro, Craven county. She learned her songs from 
her mother, who had them by oral tradition at her home in England. 

I A Story, a story I'll hold in your jest 

Concerning a young gentleman who lived in the West. 
By gaming he came to great poverty 



He being well educated and one of great wit 
The squires of London they all thought him fit ; 
They made him the factor and captain also 
And to many voyages to Turkey did go. 

As he was going through Turkey one day 

He saw a dead body's carcass a-lying on the way. 

'Oh, why do this lie here?' the factor he cries. 

One of the natives made this reply : 
'Sir, he was a Christian while he drew breath ; 
He's not paid his just dues and lies above yet.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 221 

5 'What is his just dues?' the factor repHed. 

'Fifty pounds sterling,' the Turks did reply. 
'Fifty pounds sterling is a great sum indeed. 
To see him lie there it makes my heart bleed.' 

6 Down by the factor this money was paid 
And under the ground this dead body was laid. 

7 As he was going further he chanced for to spy 
A beautiful damsel just going to die; 

A young waiting maiden strangled must be 
For nothing only striking a Turkish ladee. 

8 Her eyes like a fountain began for to flow 

From ofT her red rosy cheeks from thence to the ground. 

Like rivers of water from his eyes did 'still, 

Saying, 'What will you take for that fair creature's life?' 

9 'A hundred pounds sterling,' the Turks did reply. 
'A hundred pounds sterling is a great sum indeed ; 
But it is for her freedom, I will freely pay it down. 

10 'Now say, my dear madam, will you go with me 
To fair London city where my dwelling be?' 

'Oh, yes, my dear master ; you have freed me from death. 
I'm bound to obey you while God gives me breath.' 

1 1 He carried her to London ; he found her so just, 
The keys of his riches he did in her trust. 

12 It was not very long 'fore this factor must go. 

He crossed the wide ocean and then he had to sail. 

She flowered him a waistcoat of silver and gold 

And told him to let it be seen by the great Magistrae. 

13 'What is your reason, dear madam?' says he. 

'I'll not tell my reasons ; some reasons you'll find.' 

14 On this voyage he did sail 

He entered into the old prince's coach . . . 

The old prince stopped him, says 

'Who flowered your garment with silver and gold? 

15 'See, here you wear that I do wear. 

I sent my dear daughter over the sea 

A friend for to see ; the last I heard from her 
She was taken in Turkey as a slave. 

16 'Who would bring her, my daughter, to me. 
Who that would bring her his bride she shall be.' 



222 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

17 He returning back then to his bride across the sea, 
He returned to his lady and this he did say : 

'Get ready ; your parents you soon shall see.' 
Aboard of the ship straightway they did go. 

18 That night he wakened the lady all out of a sleep, 
He had plundered^ the factor all into the deep. 
'Your factor is gone, I do not know where. 

But your dear parents you soon shall see.' 

19 There was an island close by ; 
This factor swam to it. 

He a-being on the island next day, 
He saw an old man in a little canoe. 

20 'Now, without a promise she will make unto me .... 
Promise me your first-born and I will set you free.' 

21 He promised him his first-born. Now the lady was at 

home, 
And told her parents to give her forty days to mourn 
For the loss of her factor .... 
Then she would marry the factor after forty days. 

22 As she was a-walking by the river a-grieving, 
'Oh, yonder's my factor, I now declare! 
Where he has gone I do not know where, 
But he has returned to me.' 

23 The captain, a-seeing him, drowned himself in the deep. 

24 This couple was soon married. 

They had been married a year or more. 
They were blessed with a little babe. 

25 This ghost, entering into the room. 
'Fulfill those promises you made to me.' 

26 *I must give my dear baby to that I don't know where, 
Perhaps in pieces my darling babe may tear.' 

2^ He took the little baljy. 'Don't you remember one day 

Going through Turkey ? I am the dead body's spirit you 

had buried on the way. 
Here, take your blessed baby ; may the Lord bless you all.' 
With three bitter groans banished- out of the hall. 
^ One supposes that "plundered" is for "plunged" ; and the "he" must 
be the captain of the ship, who has somehow learned of the situation 
and has designs on the prince's daughter for himself ; or perhaps a rival 
factor — which would help to explain the puzzle of the two factors a few 
lines below. 

^ Presumably this should be "vanished." 



OLDER n A L L A D S — MOSTLY B R I T 1 S II 223 

6i 
Nancy of Yarmouth 

Our text of 'Nancy of Yarmouth' is clearly from the Forget-Me- 
Not Songster version, 'Jemmy and Nancy' ; it corresponds to that 
stanza by stanza except that it has dropped the first two lines of 
the final stanza. There are many slight changes, to be sure. Some 
of them might be explained as due to careless copying, as for 
instance the omission of "did" in the third line of stanza i, "love" 
for "lover" in the third line of stanza 7, and many more; some 
seem to be merely in conformity with the dialect of the copier, as 
"fitten" for "fitting" in stanza 6; but others look like cases of mis- 
hearing or misremembering and so point to oral transmission. Such 
are "if your mother will hear" for "of Yarmouth, we hear" in 
stanza i, "regret" for "requite" in stanza 47, and others. But the 
retention of the misprint "sight" for "sigh" in stanza 21 strongly 
suggests copying from print. The Forgct-Mc-Not Songster, pub- 
lished by Nafis and Cornish of New York in the thirties and forties 
of the last century, was enormously popular. Our ballad occupies 
pages 86-92. It occurs, but not very often, in recent reports of 
traditional song. It has been found in Sussex (JFSS 11 1 13-14). 
Dorset (JFSS viii 209-10, a fragment). Nova Scotia (SENS 
81-3), New Jersey (JAFL xxvi 178, from an old manu.script), 
Virginia (FSV 68), North Carolina (SharpK i 379-80), Florida 
(SFLQ VIII 162-3), and Iowa (MAFLS xxix 15-20). Kidson 
(JFSS II 114) says it was printed by John Evans about 1795; 
Kittredge (JAFL xxvi 178) lists various stall and garland prints 
of it to be found in the Harvard Library. In theme it is vaguely 
reminscent of 'The Suffolk Miracle' (Child 272), but it is a quite 
distinct ballad. For 'The Suffolk Miracle' in North Carolina, see 
No. 41 above. 

'Jimmy and Nancy.' Found by Professor E. L. Starr of Salem College 
in 1915 among the papers of Mrs. R. E. Barnes of Taylorsville, Alex- 
ander county, then eighty-one years of age, a native of the county. 
Professor Starr notes : "This ballad appears in the handwriting of a 
Miss Jones, who took it down from a sung version in 1853. In other 
words, in 1853 Miss Jones wrote it down and gave it to Mrs. Barnes." 

1 Lovers, I pray lend an ear to my story 

And take an example from this constant pair ; 
How love a young creature blast in her glory, 
Beautiful Nancy, if your mother will hear. 

2 She was a merchant's lovely fair daughter, 
Heiress of fifteen hundred a year. 

A young man he courted her to be his jewel. 
A son of a gentleman who lived near. 

3 Many long years he this maid did court ; 
When they was infants in love they agreed. 
And when to age this couple arrived 

A cupid an arrow between them displayed. 



224 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

4 They made a promise for to be married, 

But when their parents the same came to know 
They took their beautiful charming daughter 
Separated apart that base and severe. 

5 'Daughter,' they said, 'give over your proceedings ; 
If that against our consent you do wed, 
Forever more we resolve to disown you 

If you wed one that's so meanly bred.' 

6 Her mother said, 'You are a great fortune ; 
Besides, you are beautiful, charming and young. 
You are a match, my dear child, fitten 

For any lord that's in all Christendom.' 

7 Then did reply this beautiful virgin, 
'Riches and honor I both do defy ; 

If that I am denied of my dearest love 
Then farewell this world, which is all vanity. 

8 'Jimmy is the man that I do admire, 
He is the man that I do adore ; 

For to be greater I never desire ; 
My heart is fixed to love no more.' 

9 Then said her father, ' 'Tis my resolution, 
Altho I have no more daughters but you, 
If that with him you are resolved to marry. 
Banished from me you forever shall be.' 

10 'Well, cruel father, but still I desire. 
Grant me that Jimmy once more I may see. 
Tho you do part us, I still will be loyal, 
For none in the world I'll admire but he.' 

1 1 He sent for the young man in a passion. 
Saying, 'Forever, now, sir, take your leave. 
I have a match more fit for my daughter. 
Therefore 'tis but a folly to grieve.' 

12 'Honored father,' then said the young lady, 
'Promised we are by the powers above. 
Why of all comforts would you bereave? 
Our love is fixed, never to remove.' 

13 Then said the father, 'A trip on the ocean 
Jimmy shall go in a ship of my own. 

I'll consent that he shall have my daughter 
When to fair Yarmouth again he returns.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 225 

14 'Honored father,' then said the two lovers, 
'Since it is your will we are bound to obey; 
Our constant hearts can never be parted 
But our eager desire no longer must stay.' 

15 Then beautiful Nancy said. 'Dearest Jimmy, 
Here, take this ring, the pledge of my vows; 
With it my heart — keep it safe in your bosom, 
Carry it with you wherever you go.' 

16 Then in his arms he did closely infold her. 
Whilst crystal tears like fountains did flow, 
Crying, 'My heart in return I do give you, 
And you shall be present wherever I go. 

17 'When on the ocean, my dear, I am saih'ng. 
Thoughts of my jewel thy compass shall stay, 
Those tedious times shall discover 

And bring me safe to the arms of my dear. 

18 'Therefore be content, my lovely jewel; 
For, by the Virgin, if you are untrue 

My troubled ghost shall forever torment you ; 
Dead or alive, I'll have none but you.' 

19 Her arms around his neck did twine, 
Saying, 'My dear, when you're out on the sea. 
If that fate should prove cruel, 

That we should each other no more see, 

20 'No man alive shall ever enjoy me; 
Soon as the tidings of death sings my ears 
Then like a poor and unfortunate lover 
Down to the grave will go to my dear.' 

21 Then with a sorrowful sight they parted. 
The wind next morning blew a pleasant gale ; 
All things being ready, the same Mary galley, 
And for Barbodions he straight did sail. 

22 Jimmy was floating upon the wide ocean. 

Her cruel parents was plotting the same while 
How the heart of their beautiful daughter 
With cursed gold strive to beguile. 

23 Many a lord of fame, birth, and breeding 
Came for to court this young beautiful maiden, 
But all of their presents and favors she slighted. 
'Constant I'll be to my jewel,' she said. 



226 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

24 Now for a while we will leave this fair maiden 
And tell how the things with her lover did go. 
In the Island of Barhodoins the ship safe arrived, 
But now observe this fatal overthrow. 

25 Young Jimmy was comely in every feature. 
A Barbodious lady whose riches was great 

On him fixed her eyes; then she cried, 'If I get not 
This English sailor, I'll die for his sake.' 

26 She then dresses herself in gallant attire. 
With costly diamonds she platted her hair ; 

A hundred slaves dresses in white to attend her ; 
Sent for this young man to come to them there. 

27 'Come, noble sailor,' she cried, 'can you fancy 
A lady whose fortunes and riches are great? 

A hundred slaves you shall liave to attend you, 
Music to charm you to your solemn sleep. 

28 'In robes of gold I will deck you. my dear. 
Pearls and rich jewels I'll lay at your feet; 

In chariots of gold you shall ride at your pleasure ; 
If you can love me, then answer me straight.' 

29 Amazed with wonder while gazing she stood, 
'Forbear, young lady,' at length he replied ; 
'In fair England I have vowed to a lady 

At my return to make her my bride. 

30 'She is a charming young beautiful creature. 
She has my heart, and I never can love ; 

I bear in my eyes her sweet lovely features : 
No other charmer on earth I adore.' 

31 Hearing of this she did rave in distraction. 
Crying, 'Unfortunate maid ! thus to love 
One that does basely slight all my glory 
And of my possessions will not approve. 

32 'Lords of renown their favors I have slighted; 
Now must I die for a sailor so bold. 

I must not blame him because he is constant. 
True love, I find, is much better than gold.' 

33 A costly jewel she instantly gave him, 
Then in trembling hands she took a knife. 
One fatal blow before they could prevent her 
Quickly put an end to her life. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 

34 Great lamentation was made for this maiden. 
Jimmy onward the shij) he (Hd steer. 

Then for fair England homeward was sailing 
With a longing desire to meet his dear. 

35 But when her father found he was coming 
A letter did write to the boatswain his dear 
Saying, 'A handsome reward will I give thee 
If you will the life of young Jimmy end.' 

36 Void of all promises and for the sake of money 
The cruel boatswain the same did comply ; 

As they on the deck was lonely a-walking 
He suddenly plunged him into the deep. 

37 In the dead of the night while all was a-sleeping 
His troubled ghost to his* love did appear 
Crying, 'Arise, young beautiful Nancy, 
Perform the vows you made to your dear. 

38 'You are my own, so tarry no longer. 
Seven long years for your sake I did stay. 
How many does wait to crown us with pleasure ! 
The bride-guests are ready ; therefore come away.' 

39 She cried, 'Who is there under my window? 
Surely it is the voice of my dear!' 

Lifting her head from her soft downy pillow, 
Strait to the casement she did repair. 

40 By the light of the moon that brightly was shining 
She spied her true love ; then he to her did say, 
'Your parents are sleeping; before they awaken, 
Stair up, my dear creature, you must come away.' 

41 'Oh Jimmy,' she cried, 'if my father shall hear you 
We should be ruined ; therefore quickly repair 

To the sea side and I will quickly meet you ; 
With my own maid I'll come to you there.' 

42 Her nightgown embroidered with silver and gold 
Carelessly around her body she throws. 

With her two maids indeed to attend her 
To meet her true lover she instantly goes. 

43 Close in his arms the spirit did enfold her. 
'Jimmy,' she said, 'you are colder than clay. 
Surely you cannot be the man that I admire ; 
Paler than death you appear unto me.' 



22B NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

44 'Yes, fairest creature, I am your true lover, 
Dead or alive you are to be my own. 

I come for your vows, my dear ; you must follow 
My body to my watery tomb. 

45 'I for your sake did refuse gold and treasure, 
Beauty and riches for you I despise. 

A charming young lady for me did expire ; 
Thinking of you, I was deaf to her cries. 

46 'Your cruel parents have been my undoing. 
And now I sleep in a watery grave. 

And for your promise, my dear, I am sailing. 
Dead or alive, you I must have.' 

47 The trembling body was 30 affrighted, 
Amazed she stood near the brink of the sea. 
With eyes lift to heaven she cried, 'Cruel parents. 
Heaven regret you for your cruelty ! 

48 'Indeed I promise, my dearest creature. 
Dead or alive I would be your own ; 

And now to perform my vows I am ready 
To follow you down to your watery tomb.' 

49 Her maidens heard her sad lamentations 
But the apparition it could not see. 
Thinking the lady had fell in distraction, 
He strove to persuade her contented to be. 

50 But still she cried, 'I am a-coming. 
Now on thy bosom I'll fall asleep.' 

When this she had spoken, this unfortunate lady 
Suddenly plunged herself into the deep. 

51 When to her father the maid told the story 

He wrung his hands and cried, 'What have I done! 
O dearest child, it was thy cruel father 
That did provide thee a watery doom !' 

52 Two or three days being then expired. 
Those two unfortunate lovers were seen 

In each other's arms on the water was floating 
By the side of the ship on the watery main. 

53 The cruel boatswain was struck with horror ; 
Straight did confess the deed he had done. 
Showing the letter that came from her father 
That was the cause of these lovers' doom. 



OLDER BALLADS— MOSTLY BRITISH 229 

54 On board the ship he was tried for murder 
And at the yardarni he was hanged for the same. 
Her father broke his heart for his daughter 
Before the ship to harbor came. 

55 Thus cursed gold has caused destruction. 
Why should the rich strive after gain? 

1 hope this story will be a caution 

That cruel parents may never do the same. 

56 True love is better than jewels or treasure 
Which was the occasion of their overthrow. 



62 
The Bramble Brier 

For detailed discussion of the relation of this ballad to the fifth 
story of the fourth day of the Decameron, see PMLA xxxiii 327- 
95; and for its currency as traditional song BSM 109, adding Vir- 
ginia (FSV 64), Tennessee (BTFLS 11 27), Arkansas (OFS i 
381-2), Indiana (SFLQ v 176-7), and Michigan (BSSM 59-61). 
Our two North Carolina texts are grammatically pretty rough, like 
most of the texts from American tradition. 



The Hunt. or. The Cruel Brothers.' Secured from Frank Proffitt. 
Sugar Grove, Watauga county, in August, 1924. 

1 One day as she sat silently courting 
Her brothers says, 'Come over here. 
Your courtship shall be shortly ended ; 
We'll bring him headlong to his grave.' 

2 To begin this bloody murder 
A-hunting. hunting they must go ; 
Along with them for to flatter, 
Along with them all for to go. 

3 They hunted over hills and lonely mountains 
And through some valleys were unknown, 
Until they came to a patch of briers. 

And there they did him kill and thrown. 

4 It was late when they returneth. 
Their sister ask for the servant man. 
'We lost him in the woods a-hunting 
And never more could we him find.' 



5 One day as she lay silent, weeping, 

Her true love come to her bed and stood. 



230 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

He was poor and swath^ and ghostly looking, 
.AH wallered over in gores of blood. 

6 'What weeps you here, my pretty fair one? 
It's only a folly for you to find. 

Your brothers being hard and cruel 
In such a place you may me find.' 

7 She hunted o'er hills and lonely mountains 
And through some valleys were unknown 
Until she came to a patch of briers. 

And there .she found him killed and thrown. 

8 His pretty fair cheeks with blood had dyed, 
His lips were salt as any brine. 

She kissed him ov^. ovef, crying, 
'Here lies the bosom friend of mihe.' 

9 Three days and nights she did stay by him, 
All down upon her bended knees ; 

In the midst of all her grief and sorrow 
She uttered forth such words as these : 

10 'I didn't entending staying by you 
Until my heart was broke with woe. 
I feel sharp hunger coming on me 
Which will cause me back home to go.' 

1 1 It was late when she returneth. 

Her brothers ask her where she'd been. 

She said : 'You hard-hearted, deceitful villains. 

For him alone you both shall swing,' 

12 To get shet of this bloody murder 
Out on the sea they both did go ; 
Out on the sea they both went rowing. 
And the sea proved both their graves. 



'The 'Prentice Boy.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton as sung by Mrs. Becky 
Gordon of Saluda Mountain, Henderson county, in the summer of 1928. 
"This one she said she learned from her mother, who was raised on 
Saluda Mountain." 

I There was a man who lived a merchant, 
He had two sons and a daughter fair ; 
A prentice boy that was bound to him. 
To him alone was left the same. 

* The editor is unable to guess what meaning was attached to this 
word. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 23I 

2 One evening they were silent, courting. 

Her brothers trancecP by the door, • 

Saying, 'Now your courtship'!! soon be over, 
I'!! hasten you uns to your grave.' 

3 Oh, to l)egin this b!oody murder 
A-liunting tliese three men did go; 
Over !iills and !one!y mountings 
And lonesome valleys they did go. 

4 'Tvvas late that night when they return-ed. 
Their sister asked them where they'd been. 
'What makes you make sich straight inquiring 
About that young and servant man?' 

5 'Becayse I hyerd your silent whisper. 
Pray tell me, brother; my heart will break.* 

6 'Twas late that night when she was sleeping 
He 'peared to her by her bedside. 

All cut and gashed like being wounded, 
All beat up into gores of blood. 

7 She rose next morning bright and early 
And hunting her young man did go, 
It's over hills and lonely mountings, 
Some lonesome valleys she did go. 

8 Before she come to the place of trial 

There were the dead, him killed and thrown. 
Three days and nights she fasted by him. 
All on her bended knees did stand. 

9 She kissed him over and over, crying. 
Saying, 'This dear bosom was a friend of mine. 

10 T thought, my dear, I would stay by you 
Until my heart did sink with woe, 

I feel sharp hunger creeping on me 
And forces me homeward to go.' 

1 1 'Twas late the third night when she return-ed. 
Her brothers asked her where she'd been. 
'You most unkind and cruel creatures. 

For him alone you both shall swing.' 

12 Now to git shet of that bloody murder 
Across the ocean they did go. 

The wind did blow, and it was no wonder 

The stormy sea blowed 'em both to their graves. 

* Probably miswritten for "chanced." Cf. M.E. and dial, "traunce,* 
to tramp about. 



232 north carolina folklore 

The Prince of Morocco; or, Johnnie 

This story — a sort of reverse of 'The Marriage of Sir Gawain' 
and of the later 'The Loathly Bride' and printed as a broadside 
about the middle of the eighteenth century (see Barry's note to the 
Vermont text, NGMS 40) — has not often been found as traditional 
song. In fact, it appears to be known only in three places : Ver- 
mont (NGMS 38-40), Arkansas (OFS i 354-6), and North Caro- 
lina. These three texts are not very close in their language but 
close enough to show that they all go back to one original, doubt- 
less a broadside. The eighteenth-century broadside is entitled 'The 
Crafty Ploughman's Garland, or The Young Farmer's Policy to 
Gain a Fair Lady'; the Vermont version is called 'The Poor Sailor 
Boy,' and that from Arkansas 'The Sailor Boy.' 

'The Prince of Morocco, or Johnnie.' From the Henneman collection, 
which means that it is from the singing of Mrs. Elizabeth Simpkins of 
Vanceboro, from whom Henneman got his North Carolina texts, prob- 
ably about the beginning of the present century. It is not divided into 
stanzas in the manuscript, but the rhymes suggest that it was conceived 
as stanzaic and I have accordingly attempted so to arrange it. The 
pointing is editorial. 

1 Come all you good people, I'll have you draw near 
And listen to a love song as I will sing you here. 
Well, Johnnie the farmer's young son, I do declare, 
Courted a damsel, he loved her so dear. 

2 He dressed himself in some outlandish style, 
All for to gain his own heart's desire, 

And this news so far alies^ was bound 
'The Prince of Morocco has come to town,' 

3 And many a lord and gay lady too 
Came young Johnnie for to see 

Among the whole number his own love was there 
And her old father too. 

4 Then said the old man, 'What can I understand? 
You have come into these lands for to get you a wife. 
I haven't but one daughter, and she's the only heir ; 

I haven't but one daughter, and she shall be your bride.' 

5 'Stop,' says the young prince; 'and sposen we don't agree?' 
'Never mind,' says the old man, 'but married you shall be.' 
Still it was against the lady's content. 

For quitting of young Johnnie who she loved so severe 
In getting of a husband like old Lucifere. 

6 'Ah, daughter, he's a king, and a king of great fame, 
And if you will marry him you'll surely be the queen.' 

' So the manuscript seems to read ; what is intended is not apparent. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 233 

7 At last this lady gave her consent, 

But still it was against her own heart's content 

For quitting of young Johnnie, who she loved so severe, 

In getting of a husband like old Lucifere. 

8 And after they were wedded and then put to bed 
Still it was against the lady's content 

For quitting of young Johnnie who she loved so severe 
In getting of a husband like old Lucifere. 

9 It caused the old man to dance and to sing, 
Thinking that his daughter was married to a king. 

10 So early next morning young Johnnie he arose 
And called for his potion, as we might suppose. 
The full flowing bowl went merrily around. 

The old man counted Johnnie six thousand pounds. 

11 He gathered up his money and he put it in his purse. 
He called for a basin and some water for to wash, 
He washed himself so white and so clean. 

He turned to the old man and said, 'Do you know me 
now?' 

12 'Damn it,' says the old man, 'what have I done? 
This is Johnnie, the farmer's young son. 

Come pay me back my money !' the old man he cries. 
'Keep your money,' the lady she replies ; 

13 'I won't accept the devil or any of his crew. 
You 'pear like a beautiful angel in my view. 
Keep your money,' the lady she replies, 

'Now make a loving husband; I am your loving bride.' 



T) ESIDES the ancient ballads of the Child canon and their close 
■■-' congeners given above, ballad singers of North Carolina have 
kept in memory a store of other old songs current in Britain as 
broadside or stall ballads. These are most often of tragic content: 
a man treacherously kills his sweetheart, as in 'The Gosport Trag- 
edy,' 'The Lexington Murder' (known also as 'The Bloody Miller' 
and 'The Knoxville Girl,' and in the old country as 'The Wittam 
Miller' and 'The Berkshire Tragedy'), 'Handsome Harry'; the 
man, or the woman, or both, die of thwarted love, as in 'Beautiful 
Susan,' 'The Lancaster Maid,' 'The Silver Dagger,' 'Chowan 
River' ; a lover is killed by his sweetheart's cruel and greedy father, 
as in 'Young Edwin in the Lowlands'; or the lover shoots his 
sweetheart mistaking her for a swan, as in 'Molly Bawn' (the 
name undergoes many changes). Others are rather romantic than 



234 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

tragic : they tell of a bride carried off despite parental or other 
objection, as in 'Locks and Bolts' and "The Soldier's Wooing' ; of 
a test of love, as in 'The Glove' (a folk tale that Schiller and Leigh 
Hunt and Browning also used though not quite with the same in- 
tent) ; or of lovers changing places, as in 'A Brave Irish Lady' 
and 'Servant Man'; or of a lover returning in disguise from for- 
eign parts to test his mistress's faithfulness, a favorite theme of 
the street balladist and represented in our collection by 'A Pretty 
Fair Maid Down in the Garden,' 'Johnny German,' and 'John 
Reilley' ; or of a girl seeking her lover in disguise as a man, as 
in 'Polly Oliver.' Many of them are songs of the sea or rather 
of sailors. A favorite in this field is 'Jack Munro,' where a girl 
in love with a sailor disguises herself as a man, ships with him, 
saves his life in battle, and comes triumphantly home with him. 
Others are 'The Silk-Merchant's Daughter,' 'Green Beds,' and 'The 
Sailor Boy.' Goodnights — professedly the last words of criminals 
at the gallows — which made up a large part of the stock in trade 
of professional ballad makers, are but slightly represented ; 'The 
Sheffield Apprentice,' who was framed as a thief by his mistress be- 
cause he repulsed her amorous advances, is there, and so are 'The 
Ramblin' Boy' and Turpin's 'Bonnie Black Bess.' A few songs 
seem clearly of Scottish origin: 'Caroline of Edinburgh Town." 
'Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch,' and perhaps 'I Wish My Love Was 
in a Ditch.' Slightly more numerous are Irish or AngloTrish 
pieces : 'William Riley,' 'The Irish Girl,' and others. 



64 
The Gosport Tragedy 

Of the many ballads sung in America about the man who mur- 
ders his sweetheart, sometimes from jealousy but more often be- 
cause, having got her with child, he wants to be rid of her — 
'Florella,' 'Oma Wise,' 'Pearl Bryan,' 'Leo Frank and Mary 
Fagan,' etc. — two go back definitely to English broadsides : 'The 
Gosport Tragedy' ('Pretty Polly,' 'The Cruel Ship's Carpenter') 
and 'The Wexford Girl' ('The Oxford Girl,' 'The Lexington Girl,' 
'The Wittam Miller,' 'The Berkshire Tragedy'). Much alike in 
plot and sometimes fading into one another, they may conveniently 
be distinguished by certain items in the story. In 'The Gosport 
Tragedy' the killer tells his victim that he has been digging her 
grave all the night before; in 'The Wexford Girl' he explains the 
blood on his clothes by saying that it was 'bleeding at the nose.' 
These items mark the respective original broadsides and can be 
traced through most if not all the later traditional versions. 

The earliest known form of 'The Gosport Tragedy' is a "garland" 
in the Roxburghe collection (Roxb. Ballads viii 143-4, 173-4), dated 
by Ebsworth "circa 1750." In modern times it has been reported 
from tradition in Sussex (JFSS i 172-3), Nova Scotia (BSSNS 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 235 

96-8), Virginia (SharpK i 326-7, SCSM 131-4), West Virginia 
(FSS 308-10), Kentucky (JAFL xx 261-4, where Kittredge points 
out in a note that the Harvard Library has copies of both the 
original garland and later English broadsides, JAFL xlii 276-8, 
LT 79-81, BKH 69-70, SharpK i 319-20, 321-5, FSSH 229-30. 
222; it is listed also in Shearin's syllabus), Tennessee (ETWVMB 
74-5. SharpK i 318-19, BTFLS iii 85), North Carolina (SharpK 
I 3"i7, 320-1. 327, SCSM 128-31, SSSA 53-4, JAFL xlv 134-5). 
Georgia (JAFL xliv 107-8, FSSH 231-2), Florida (FSF 341-2), 
Missouri (OFS 11 11 2- 14), and Indiana (BSI 298-9). It is per- 
haps worth remarking that with the exception of Mackenzie's Nova 
Scotia text it does not appear in the Northeast. 

There is an excellent recording of a Virginia version of 'The 
Gosport Tragedy,' under the title 'Pretty Polly,' in the Library of 
Congress. Music Division, Archive of American Folk Song (Folk 
Music of the United States, Album I), which, according to Alan 
Lomax. illustrates unconscious editing of the English broadside by 
the American folk. "The product of this process of folk editing 
— Pretty Polly — is The Americatt Tragedy in six brilliant stanzas 
(the same subject that occupies a ponderous volume in Theodore 
Dreiser's work of that name)." 

A 
'The Gosport Tragedy.' Contributed by Miss Pearl Webb of Pineda, 
Avery county, in 1921 or 1922. It has the appearance of having been 
copied from print ; see under version B. 

1 In Gosport of late a young damsel did dwell ; 
For wit and for beauty few did her excel. 

A young man did court her for to be his dear, 
And he by his trade was a ship carpenter. 

2 He said, 'Dearest Mary, if you will agree 
And give your consent for to marry me, 
Your love it can cure one of sorrow and care. 
Consent then to wed with a ship carpenter.' 

3 With blushes as charming as roses in June 

She answered. 'Sweet William, to wed I'm too young; 
For young men are fickle, I see very plain. 
If a maiden is kind they soon her disdain.' 

4 'Why. charming sweet Mary, how can you say so? 
Thy beauty, the heavens to which I would go, 

If there I find channel when I chance for to steer 
I then will cast anchor and stay with my dear. 

5 'I never will be cloyed^ with the charms of my love ; 
My heart is as true as the sweet turtle dove, 

^ The manuscript has here "coyed," as does also our B text in the 
same place. But it seems clear that "cloyed" is meant. 



236 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

And what I now crave is to wed with my dear, 
For when we are married no danger I'll fear,' 

6 'The state of a virgin, sweet William, I prize, 
For marriage brings trouble and sorrow likewise. 
Fm afraid for to venture for fear.^ 

I will never wed with a ship carpenter.' 

7 But yet it was in vain she strove to deny, 
For he by his cunning soon made her comply ; 
And by base deception he did her betray. 

In sin's hellish paths he did her betray. 

8 Then when this young damsel with child did prove 
She quickly sent the tidings to her faithful love, 
Who swore by the heavens he would prove true 
And said, 'I'll marry no damsel but you.' 

9 Things passed on a while. At length we did^ hear 
His ship must be sailing, for sea he must steer; 
Which grieved this poor damsel and wounded her heart 
To think with her true love she so suddenly must part. 

10 Cried she, 'Dearest William, ere you go to sea 
Rememl)er the vows you've made unto me. 

If at home you don't tarry I never can rest. 

How can you then leave me with sorrow distressed?' 

11 With tender embraces they parted that night 
And promised to meet the next morning at light ; 
When William said, 'Mary, you must go with me. 
Before we are married, our friends for to see.' 

1 2 Then he led her through groves and valleys so deep. 
At length this young damsel began for to weep, 
Saying, 'William, I fear you have led me astray 
On purpose my innocent life to betray.' 

13 Said he, 'You have guessed right, and earth can't you save. 
For the whole of last night I've been digging your grave.' 

When poor ruined Mary did hear him say so 
The tears from her eyes like a fountain did flow.'' 

' The B text has "therefore for fear," improving the sense and the 
versification and probably representing the original print. 

' B has here "do," which seems better. 

* Here the A text is better than the B, which runs: 
Said he, 'You have guessed right. 
For the whole of last night 
I've spent digging your grave.' 
When poor innocent Mary did hear him say so 
The tears from her eyes like a fountain did flow. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 237 

14 A grave with a spade lying near did she see, 
Which caused this young damsel to weep bitterly. 
'Oh. perjurer William, the worst of mankind, 

Is this the bride's bed I expected to find?' 

15 Her hands white as lilies in sorrow she wrung, 
Imploring for mercy, cries 'What have I done 
To you. dearest William so comely and fair? 

Will you murder your true love who loves you so dear ?' 

16 Said he. 'There's no time disputing to stand.' 
Then instantly taking a knife in his hand 

He pierced her fair breast when^ the blood it did flow 
And into the grave her fair body did throw. 

17 He covered the grave and quick hastened home. 
Leaving none but small birds her sad fate to bemoan. 
On board ship he entered without more delay 

And set sail from Plymouth to plow the salt sea. 

18 A young man, a steward, of courage most bold, 
One night happened late to go into the hold, 
WHien a beautiful damsel to him did appear 
And in her arms she held an infant most fair. 

19 Being wary, with quickness he went to embrace. 
Transplanted with joy at beholding her face ; 
But when to his amazement she banished away, 
Which he told the captain without more delay.^ 

20 The captain soon summoned the jovial ship crew 
And said: 'My brave fellows, I fear some of you 
Have murdered some damsel ere he came away. 
Whose injured ghost now haunts you on the sea. 

21 'W^hoever you be, if the truth you deny. 

When found out you'll be hung on the gallows so high ; 
But he who confesses his life we'll not take 
But leave him upon the first island we make.' 

22 Then William entreatingly fell on his knees, 
The blood in his veins with horror did freeze; 
He cried, cried 'Murder! What have I done?^ 
God help me, I pray ; my poor soul is undone. 

* B has the same reading. I do not know what the reading should be. 

' B corrects at least one of the errors in this stanza, perhaps two, but 
leaves it still unconstruable : 

Being Mary, with liking he went to embrace, 
Transported with joy at beholding her face, 
But when to his amazement she banished away, 
Which he told the captain without more delay. 

■^ B improves this a little : 

He cried, 'Cruel maiden, what have I done?' 



238 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

23 'Poor injured ghost, thy full pardon I crave, 
For soon I must follow you down to the grave.' 
None else but this wretch beheld that sad sight, 
And raving distracted he died that same night. 

24 Then when her sad parents these tidings did hear 
They sent out to search for their daughter so dear. 
Near the town of Southampton in a valley most deep 
Her body was found, which caused many to weep. 

25 In Gosport's Green her body now lies, 

And we hoi^e that soul is with God in the skies. 

Then let this sad tale be a warning to all 

Who would dare a poor innocent maid to enthrall. 

B 

'Gosport Tragedy.' Collected from James York of Olin, Iredell county, 
in August 1939. It is the same text as A, sometimes better taken down, 
sometimes not so well. Most of the differences between it and A have 
been noted under A. 

C 
'Polly.' Another text furnished by Miss Webb. Very much reduced, 
and differing in other ways. 

1 'Oh, Polly, oh, Polly, oh, Polly,' said he, 
'Oh, now do consent and be married to me.' 

'No, William, no, William, no, William,' said she, 
'I am too young to be married to thee.' 

2 'Oh, Polly, oh, Polly, oh, Polly,' said he, 
'Now do consent, and a friend we'll go see.' 
Immediately he took her by her lily-white hand. 
He led her through sorrow, grief, sorrow, and woe. 

3 He led her over hills and through valleys so deep. 
And at last pretty Polly began for to weep. 

'Oh, William, oh, William, you're leading me astray 
On purpose my innocent body to betray.' 

4 'Oh, yes, my pretty Polly, now you have guessed right. 
I was digging your grave the best part of last night.' 
They went a little further l>efore she did spy 

Her grave ready dug and a spade a-setting by. 

5 She threw her arms around him, said: 'Don't you infer ?^ 
How can you kill a girl that loves you so dear?' 

6 He opened her bosom that was whiter than- snow, 
And out of her eyes the tears they did fiow. 

He pierced her to the heart, which caused the blood to flow. 
And down in her grave her pale body he throwed. 
^ The other texts throw no light on this unintelligilile passage. 



I. I) K R H A I. I. A U S MOSTLY 15 R I T I S 11 2^9 

7 He covered her up and turned round to go home, 
Leaving only small birds to lament or mourn. 

He went to the ship that was on the other side 

And he swore by his Maker that he'd sail the other side. 

8 He hoisted the sails and away he did ride, 
A-thinking of poor Polly, how hard she had died. 
He sailed all along till his heart did contend. 
The ship struck a rock and to the bottom it went. 

9 Then he saw his pretty Polly all floating in blood. 
The scii)s and her screams she banished away. 

A debt to the devil — a due was paid.- 



■Pretty Polly.' Contributed by Mrs. R. C. Vaught (then Miss Gertrude 
Allen) from Oakboro, Stanly county. It is a reduced form, though it 
has the gist of the story. Many of the lines are repeated, in the fashion 
shown by the concluding stanzas, which run : 

9 He threw some sod over her and started for hf)me, 
He threw some sod over her and started for home, 
Leaving no one with pretty Polly but the wild beast to 
roam. 

10 He saw a ship come a-sailing around the sea side, 
He saw a ship come a-sailing around the sea side. 
He bid that ship for to take him a ride. 

11 He sailed the ocean over. His heart was content. 
He sailed the ocean over. His heart was content. 

But the ship struck a iceberg and to the bottom it went. 

12 On to hell Sweet Willie did go ; 
On to hell Sweet Willie did go 

To pay to the Devil the debt he did owe. 

13 Pretty Polly, pretty Polly, she's gone on to rest. 
Pretty Polly, j^retty Polly, she's gone on to rest. 
Where is Sweet Willie? In hell, I do guess. 

E 
'Pretty Molly.' Contributed by Thomas Smith of Zionviile, Watauga 
county, in 191 5, as sung by Mrs. Lillie Perry and her daugliter Susie, 
who had learned it from the singing of others. A much reduced and 
imperfect text. It is not easy to make out from the manuscript whether 
the stanzas should be of three Hnes, or two, or four. No attempt there- 
fore is here made to fill it out. 

^The last two lines are unintelligible as they stand, though the gen- 
eral idea is that the vision of the murdered girl vanishes away in a 
scream and the murderer is seized by the devil. 



240 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'O come, pretty Molly, and go with me, 

come, pretty Molly, and go with me, 

We'll go and get married some pleasure to see.' 

They traveled over mountains and valleys so deep 
{repeat) 

They rode a piece further and what did they spy 

{repeat) 
Her grave had been made and a spade close by. 

He threw the dirt o'er her and turned for home 

'Now a debt to the devil I have to pay 

For stealing pretty Molly and running away. 

1 courted pretty Molly one eve and night 
And left the next morning before it was light.' 

65 

The Lexington Murder 

Variously known as 'The Oxford Girl,' 'The Wexford Girl,' 
The Lexington Girl,' 'The Knoxville Girl,' 'The Bloody Miller,' 
and in England as 'The Wittam Miller' and 'The Berkshire Trag- 
edy,' this ballad tells a story similar to that of 'The Gosport 
Tragedy' and also to that of the American 'Florella,' 'Poor Naomi' 
('Omie Wise'), 'Pearl Bryan,' 'Nell Cropsey,' and others. See the 
headnote to 'The Gosport Tragedy,' and also FSS 311 and BSM 
133-4, both of which give extensive references showing the dif- 
fusion of the ballad; add also Davis, FSV 271-2 for texts from 
Virginia, Morris, FSF 336-9, for texts from Florida, and Randolph, 
OFS II 92-104 for texts from Missouri and Arkansas. The texts 
selected for presentation here are reckoned to belong to the tradition 
of 'The Wittam Miller' because of the names under which they are 
known in North Carolina or because they are, most of them at 
least, marked by the killer's excuse for his appearance that it is 
due to "bleeding at the nose." Most of them also remember that 
the murderer is a miller or a miller's apprentice. The ballad about 
Nellie Cropsey, a North Carolina girl murdered early in the pres- 
ent century (see no. 307, below), is in most of its texts modeled 
very closely on 'The Lexington Murder.' 



'The Lexington Murder.' Collected by Mrs. Zebulon Baird Vance near 
Black Mountain, Buncombe county, and received by the Society in April 
1915- 
I My tender parents brought me up, 

Provided for me well, 

And in the city of Lexington 

They put me in a mill. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 24I 

2 'Twas there I spied a bright young miss 
On whom I cast my eye. 

I asked her if she'd marry me, 
And she believed a lie. 

3 Last Saturday night three weeks ago, 
Of course, would have Ijeen the day. 
The devil put it in my head 

To take her life away. 

4 I went into her sister's house 
Eleven o'clock last night. 

But little did the creature know 
For her I had a spite. 

5 I asked her kind to take a walk 
A little piece away 

That we might have a joyful talk 
About our wedding day. 

6 We went upon a lonely road, 
A dark and lonely place ; 

I took a stick from off the fence 
And struck her in the face. 

7 She fell upon her bended knee 
And loud for mercy cried : 

'For Heaven's sake don't murder me ! 
Fm unprepared to die.' 

8 But little attention did I pay; 
I only struck her more 
Until I saw the innocent blood 
That I could not restore. 

9 I run my hand thru her cold black hair ; 
To cover up my sin 

I drug her to the river bank 
And there I throwed her in. 

TO And on returning to my home 
I met my servant John. 
He asked me why I was so pale 
And why so hurried on.^ 

II I went upstairs to go to bed. 
Expecting to take my rest. 

^ The dialogue between the killer and his man John (or his master, 
or his mother), given in B F G J, in which he accounts for the blood 
on his clothes by saying that he has had the nosebleed, has been lost in 
A and D. 



242 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

It felt to me that fires of hell 
Were burning in my Ijreast. 

12 Then all young men this warning take 
And to your love be true ; 
Don't ever let the devil get 
The upper hand of you. 



'The Bloody Miller, or, The Murdering Miller.' Contributed by 1. G. 
Greer of Boone, Watauga county, in 1915 or 1916. Fairly close in text 
to A. It lacks the first two stanzas, beginning with 

One month ago since Christmas last, 
That most unhappy day, 
The devil he persuaded me 
To take her life away. 

Stanza 8 of A also is missing in this text. The last seven stanzas run : 

6 And then, to wash her sins away, 
I took her by the hair 

And drug her to a river near 
And left her body there. 

7 Then to my mill, my mill I ran. 
The miller was amazed. 

He slowly fixed his eyes on me 
And slowly he did gaze. 

8 'Oh, master, master, master dear, 
You look as pale as death. 

Have you been running all this night 
That put you out of breath ? 

9 'What means the blood upon your hands. 
Likewise upon your clothes?' 

I answered him immediately, 
'By bleeding at the nose.' 

10 I snatched the candle from his hand 
And to my bed I run. 
I lay there trembling all that night 
For the murder I had done. 



II 



I lay there trembling all that night, 
I could not take my rest ; 
I could but feel the pains of hell 
Roll o'er my guilty breast. 

12 The morning dawned, the sheriflf came. 
He took me to my jail, 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY HRITISH 243 

And bound me there for six long months, 
And then in death to wail. 

C 

'Come All of You Who's Been in Love and Sympathize with Me.' Con- 
tributed by Miss Madge Nichols of Durham about 1922. A somewhat 
reduced form, with no indication that the murderer is a miller ; placed 
here rather than with the local American forms of the story because 
of the nosebleed in the final stanza : 

They asked of me most seriously 
How come blood on my clothes ; 
I answered them most modestly : 
'By bleeding at the nose.' 



'Lexington Murder.' Reported by Miss Gertrude Allen of Taylorsville, 
Alexander county (later Mrs. R. C. Vaught). The tune was recorded 
in June 1923. The text agrees with A stanza by stanza except for a 
few slight variations and verbal rearrangements. Possibly the reading 
of the first two lines of stanza 8, 

I ran my fingers through my hair 
To hide away my sin, 

whereas in A he seizes the girl by her "cold black" hair, means that he 
wiped his bloody hands on his hair. Nosebleed does not figure in this 
text. 

E 

'Lexington Murder.' Contributed by Virginia Hartsell of Stanly county. 
The same text as A with negligible verbal variants. The second sheet 
of the manuscript seems to have been lost; it breaks ofT with his meet- 
ing with "my servant John." 



'Lexington Murder.' From Mrs. Nilla Lancaster of Wayne county. 
Essentially the A text with slight verbal variations, except that it lacks 
stanzas i 2 4 and has the nosebleed item. It ends : 

7 On my way returning home 
I met my servant John. 

He asked me why I was so pale 
And yet I was so warm ; 

8 And why there was so much blood 
All on my hands and clothes. 
But innocent was my reply : 
'Twas bleeding from the nose. 

9 Come all young men and warning take 
If your love goes out untrue, 

And never let Old Satan get 
The uppermost hand of you. 



244 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

G 

'The Knoxville Girl.' One of two texts contributed by Mrs. Minnie 
Church of Heaton, Avery county, in 1930. It tells the same story as 
the preceding versions, but with sufficient variation to justify giving it 
in full. 

1 There was a little girl in Knoxville, 
A child we all knew well. 

Every Sunday evening 
Out in her home I dwell. 

2 We went to take an evening walk 
Abotit two miles from town. 

I drew a stick up from the ground 
And knocked her back around. 

3 She fell down on her bended kn^es, 
For mercy she did cry : 

'Oh, Willie dear, don't kill me here. 
For Fm not prepared to die.' 

4 She never spoke another word. 
I beat her more and more, 
Stained the ground around her ; 
Thin her blood did flow. 

5 I taken her by her golden curls. 
I drug her round and round ; 

I threw her in the river 
Close to Knoxville town. 

6 'Go there, go there, Knoxville girl. 
Got dark and rolling eyes, 

Go there, go there, Knoxville girl ; 
You'll never be my bride.' 

7 I started back to Knoxville, 
Got there about midnight. 
Mother she was worried. 
Woke up in a slight. 

8 'Son, oh, son, what have you done? 
Here's blood your clothes so.' 

The answer I gave mother 
Was 'bleeding at my nose.' 

Q I called for a candle 
To light myself to bed. 
I called for me a handkerchief 
To bind my aching head. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 245 

10 I rolled and tumbled all night through, 
Was troubles there for nie, 

And flames of hell around my bed 
And in my eyes could see. 

11 They taken me to the Knoxville jail, 
They locked me in a cell ; 

My friends all tried to get me out, 
But none could go my bail. 

12 Her sister swore my life away. 
I'm hell bound without doubt. 
I was a single man 

That carried her sister out. 

H 

'Bloody Miller.' Mrs. Church's second version, bearing the same date, 
is somewhat shorter. The girl bears the name Nell, which suggests 
that this te.xt was felt to belong to the 'Nell Cropsey' story. Its content, 
however, is substantially the same as that of the other 'Lexington 
Murder' texts except that, like E, it is incomplete ; it ends with the 
first half of stanza 8: 

When I returned to the mill again 
I met my servant John .... 



'The Lexington Murder.' Collected by W. Amos Abrams apparently 
in 1935 or 1936, from one of his pupils, Mary Bost of Statesville, 
Iredell county. Substantially the same text as A. 

J 

No title. Given to W. Amos Abrams in 1939 by Imogene Norris, "to 
whom the ballad was sung 8 years previously by Mrs. Martha Hodges." 
Does not differ materially from A except at the end, where nosebleed 
figures and where he speaks not to his servant but to "the miller" : 

9 Then to the mill, the mill I ran. 
The miller was amazed. 
He slowly fixed his eyes on me 
And slowly he did gaze. 



10 'What makes your hands so bloody, sir? 
And likewise on your clothes?' 

I answered him immediately, 
'By bleeding at the nose.' 

11 Then to my bed, my bed I ran. 
For I could get no rest. 

For I could feel the flames of hell 
Burn through my guilty breast. 



246 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



'The Wexford Girl' (contributors', not the singer's, title). Contributed 
by Professors W. Amos Abrams and Gratis D. Williams of Boone, 
Watauga county, as obtained in the summer of 1945 from Pat Frye of 
East Bend, Yadkin county— concerning whom see the headnote to 'Lady 
Isabel and the Elf -Knight' G. It is a reduced form of the A version. 

1 . . . one day on Christmas last 
Was a very pleasant day. 

The devil he persuaded me 
To take her life away. 

2 She promised to meet me at her sister's house. 
'Twas eight o'clock that night. 

So little did that creature think 
I owed her any spite. 

3 I asked her to take a walk with'me, 
It weren't but a little ways, 

So all amount and little agree 
And 'p'int the wedding day. 

4 I drew a stake all out a fence, 
I struck her in the face. 

'Oh Lord, oh Lord, don't murder me ; 
I am not fitten to die !' 

5 While she fell on her bended knees 
To wash her sins away, 

I tuk her by the hair of the head 
And drug her to some river near. 

6 I drug her to some river near, 
I left her body there. 

Straight to the miller's hall I run 
And the miller was in a maze. 



'Last Saturday Night, Two Weeks Ago.' From the John Burch Blay- 
lock Collection. It is the A version with numerous slight verbal differ- 
ences and lacking stanza 2. 

M 
'Poor Nell.' A single stanza reported in 1920 by B. C. Reavis, with the 
tune. Apparently conceived to belong to 'Nell Cropsey,' but clearly it 
is a stanza of 'The Lexington Murder.' 



My father tried to rear me right, 
Provided for me well, 
Until we came to Lexington 
And placed me in the mill. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 247 

66 

On the Banks of the Ohio 
Besides sharing the same theme, this ballad is closely related 
verbally to 'The Lexington Murder.' Stanzas i and 4 of A and H, 
stanzas i and 3 of B C D E, stanzas i and 2 of F, are taken with 
little if any change from that ballad. Indeed, it might be reckoned 
a form of 'The Lexington Murder' except for the technique of the 
killing (A 3, B C D E 2, H 3) and the presence in seven of the 
eight texts of the "banks of the Ohio" chorus— which seems to 
have been taken over from a song of the pioneers. Version H 
lacks this chorus, but is otherwise clearly a text of the same song. 
The texts vary little. The fullest is given first. For texts from 
Arkansas and 'Missouri and references to its appearance elsewhere, 
see Randolph, OFS 11 136-8. Mrs. Steely found it in the Ebenezer 
community in Wake county. 

A 
'On the Banks of the Ohio.' Obtained from the manuscripts of Obadiah 
Johnson of Crossnore, Avery county, in 1940. 

1 I asked my love to take a walk 
Just to be alone with me. 

And as we walked we'd have a talk 
About our wedding day to be. 

Chorus: 

Only say that you'll be mine, 
Happy in my home you'll find 
Down beside where the waters flow 
On the banks of the Ohio. 

2 I asked your mother for you, dear, 
And she said you were too young. 
Only say that you'll be mine, 
Happy in my home you'll find. 

3 I drew a knife across her breast ; 
In my arms she dearly pressed. 
Crying, 'Oh, please, don't murder me, 
For I'm unprepared to die.' 

4 I took her by her pale white hand. 
Led her to the river bank, 
There threw her in to drown ; 
Stood and watched her float on down. 

5 Coin' home between twelve and one, 
Thinking of the deed I'd done; 

I murdered the only girl I love 
Because she would not marry me. 



248 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



'On the Banks of the Ohio.' From EfFie Tucker ; time and place not 
given. The same as A except that it lacks stanza 2. 



'On the Banks of the Ohio.' From Virginia Hartsell, Stanly county ; 
date not given. The same as B except that it has "throat" instead of 
"breast" in its second stanza. 

D 
'Down on the Bank of the Ohio.' From Evelyn Moody, Stanly county; 
date not given. The same text as C. 



'On the Banks of the Ohio.' From Gertrude Allen (afterwards Mrs. 
R. C. Vaught), Taylorsville, Alexander county, probably in 1927. This 
has "chest" instead of "breast" in stanza 2. 

F 

'On the Banks of the Ohio.' From Miss Bonnie Ethel Dickson of 
Watauga county; date not given. This lacks the knifing scene, con- 
sisting only of stanzas i, 4, 5 and the chorus of A. 

G 
'On the Banks of the Ohio.' From Miss Addie Harden, Rutherwood, 
Watauga county, in 1922. Music with fragmentary words — only the 
last two lines of the chorus : 

Where the waters flow 
On the banks of the Ohio. 

H 
'I Asked My Love to Take a Walk.' From the John Burch Blaylock 
Collection. This differs from the other texts in that it lacks the chorus, 
having instead this : 

2 'Just only say that you'll be mine, 
And in our home we'll happy be.' 
And the words that she did say : 
'No man on earth shall marry me!' 

^7 

Rose Conn ally 

The story here is akin to that of 'The Lexington Murder' and 'On 
the Banks of the Ohio.' One supposes that it is an Irish stall 
ballad, but I have found it reported only from the United States. 
Cox (FSS 314-15) prints two versions from West Virginia, both 
beginning with a moralizing stanza and both ending with a stanza 
in which the murderer names himself (Patsey O'Reilly in A, Mor- 
rison in B). Shearin and Combs's syllabus lists it for Kentucky, 
a two-stanza fragment entitled 'Rose Colalee' (Colleen?). Henry 
and Matteson print (SFLQ v 143) a text from Rominger, North 
Carolina, which is close to our A, below. Davis reports it from 
Virginia (FSV 273). 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 249 

A 

'Rose Connally.' From Frank Proffitt, Sugar Grove, Watauga county, 
in 1939; sung by Frank Proftitt and Nathan Hicks to accompaniment of 
the dulcimer and the guitar. 

1 Down in the willow garden 
Where me and my love did be, 
There we sit a-courting ; 

My love dropped off to sleep. 

2 I had a bottle of the burglar's wine 
That my true-love did not know, 

And there I poisoned my own true-love, 
Down under the banks below. 

3 I drew my saber through her, 
Which was a bloody knife ; 

I threw her in the river. 
Which was a dreadful sight. 

4 My father always taught me 
That money would set me free 

If I'd murder that pretty little miss 
Whose name was Rose Connally. 

5 He's sitting now at his own cabin door, 
A-wiping his weeping eyes, 
A-looking at his own dear son 

Upon the scafifold high. 

6 My race is run beneath the sun, 
Tho hell's now waiting for me. 

For I did murder that pretty little miss 
Wliose name was Rose Connally. 



'Down in the Willow Garden.' From Thomas Smith, Zionville, 
Watauga county ; not dated but with this note signed by Smith : "Written 
down by Miss Bessie Smith of Zionville, N. C. It has been sung by 
Mrs. Isaacs' folks for several years and is evidently not an old ballad." 
Dr. Brown, who evidently called at Zionville later, noted by the name 
of Mrs. Isaacs "absent. Her mother Mrs. J. M. Hodges" ; and by the 
title he noted "Rose Connally," evidently to indicate an alternate title. 
This text differs from A by inserting a new stanza after stanza 3: 

4 I threw her into the river, 
Which was a sight to see. 
My name is Pattimaredo 
Who murdered Rose Conalee, 

and by substituting for the last stanza of A this: 

7 Come all of you young ladies 
And warning take by me. 



250 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

And never sit a-courtin' 
Down under the willow tree. 



68 

Handsome Harry 

Kittredge, in a bibliographical note in JAFL xxvi 177-8, de- 
scribes this as an American form of the British stall ballad of 
'The Sailor's Tragedy.' Of this latter two texts have been reported 
from tradition: one from New Jersey (JAFL xxvi 179-80) and 
one from Nova Scotia (BSSNS 243-4, with a bibliographical 
note). 'Handsome Harry,' though printed more than once as an 
American broadside and included in the very widely popular Forgct- 
Me-Not Songster, has hitherto been reported as traditional song 
only from Virginia (FSV 44). Our text agrees fairly closely with 
that of the Forget-Me-Not Songster so far as it goes, but it leaves 
off the latter part of the story : how Harry, fleeing to his ship, 
is there met by a boat in which is the ghost of the wronged woman, 
who demands of the ship's captain that Harry be given up to her 
and, when he is, thrusts him into the sea to rise no more. For the 
more important misreadings of our text the proper readings are 
supplied from the Forget-Me-Not Songster. 

'Handsome Harry.' Secured for L. W. Anderson of Nag's Head by 
Delma Haywood from Mrs. Sallie Meekins of Colington. 

1 Come all you loyal-hearted lovers, 
Come and listen unto me. 

Unto you I will discover 
A most doneful purgary.^ 

2 It was of a sailor such delighted 
Pretty fair maidens to betray. 
When he gained their love he slighted 
And to another took his way. 

3 Handsome Harry he was called ; 
In Southampton he did dwell. 
To the Betsey Ship most famous 
He belonged, 'tis full well to know. 

4 Among the rest of them he courted 
Kate and Ruth he did betray. 

^ Corrections from the Forget-Me-Not Songster: stanza i, line 4, 
doleful perjury: st. 2, 1. i, who much delighted; st. 3, 1. 4, 'tis known 
full well; St. 4, 1. 2, beguile; st. 4, 1. 4, Both of them were big with 
child ; St. 5, 1. 3, Each of them thought he would marry ; st. 7, 1. i, 
So wretchedly; st. 7, 1. 2, She hung herself upon a tree; st. 10, 1. i, 
But above ground; st. 11, 1. i, with false pretences; st. 11, 1. 4, may 
undo; st. 12, 11. 1-2, When they've gained your virgin treasure You are 
whores and infidels. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 25I 

When he gained their love, he sHghted 
And with them he would not stay. 

5 Both did think to have young Harry, 
Which he promised on his life; 
Both of them he thought to marry, 
But at length made Kate his wife. 

6 Ruth she heard it, fell to weeping, 
Crying out in bitter woe, 

'Is this your promise keeping, 
A fair maid to ruin so?' 

7 Reachedly with her own garter 
Hung the self into a tree ; 
And in a few days after 

Two men a-hunting did her see. 

8 They stood amazed gazing on her 
W'hile the dogs did howl and roar. 

At the sight they were much surprised ; 
The ravenous birds her flesh had torn, 

9 They took her down in great pity. 
Wondering what the cause might be ; 
And they found a note about her. 

It was : 'Let no man bury me. 

10 'But on this earth just let me perish. 
To all maids a warning be : 

Have a care of all false lovers 
Or be ruined soon like me. 

11 'They will come in false pretense, 
Swearing they love none but you ; 
All the time they are false-hearted. 
Seeking whom they may .... 

12 'x'Vfter they have gained your love 
You are nothing but low infidels. 
You may repent it at your leisure 
Or like me go hang yourselves.' 

69 

Beautiful Susan 

Pretty evidently an English broadside or stall ballad, this appears 
not to have been reported elsewhere as traditional song. The 
Seaman of Plymouth,' a long story (50 stanzas!) reported from 
tradition in Vermont (VFSB 141-7), deals with beautiful Susan 



252 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

of that town and her sailor lover, but is by no means the same song. 
It ends happily in the marriage of the lovers despite the plotting 
of the girl's parents. 'Nancy of Yarmouth' (see above), is a more 
elaborate telling of much the same story. 

'Beautiful Susan.' From the Henneman collection, which means that 
it was taken down from the singing of Mrs. Elizabeth Simpkins. As is 
frequently the case in the Henneman texts, the versification is a good 
deal confused. In the manuscript there is no stanza division, but the 
rhymes seem to indicate that it was originally stanzaic, and an attempt 
is accordingly made so to divide it. Emendations in brackets arfe 
editorial. 

1 In Plymouth town there lived a fair virgin, 
And beautiful Susan w^as her name. 
Right straight off to court her 

The ship carpenter steering [came]. 

2 Her beautiful charms did his heart inflame, 
Saying, 'If ever I marry it shall be to Susan, 
For she is my jewel, she is my dear.' 



3 'No,' says Susan, 'you need not say so; 
William's my dear, although he's not here ; 
And if ever I marry it shall be to William ; 
He's my jewel, he is my dear.' 

4 Up steps her old father ; this he says to Susan : 
'Susan, you are young and you must to obey. 
Marry with this man that loves you so dear ; 

For while William's gone there he meets for to stay.'^ 

5 'Oh no,' says Susan, 'you need not persuade me ; 
William's my dear, although he's not here.' 

Her old father found out that he could not persuade her. 
He wrote her a letter concerning the death of her dear. 
She, reading the letter, she sighed, mourned, and, weeping, 
'I wished I'd 'a' died in the room of my dear.' 

6 Her old father still impressed on her for to marry. 
At length the damsel gave her consent. 

Next day in the robes they went to the tender, 
Down in Plymouth town, and there they were tied. 

7 That very day 

Sweet William arose [arove?] with great riches and stores. 
Susan sat gazing out at the dormant window ; 
She saw the postboy come riding to the door. 

^ This line should apparently read : "For where William's gone, there 
he means for to stay." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 253 

8 He cried aloud for the beautiful Susan, 
'Here's a letter from William her dear.' 

'I know that I'm married, although I'll die a virgin; 
Death is in the dirk, my life I'll destroy.' 

9 Up steps her groomsman, this said he to Susan : 
'Susan, you are bound, you are forced to obey.' 

'I know that I'm married, although I'll die a virgin ; 
Death is in the dirk; my life I'll destroy.' 

10 That very night William, lying in his cabin, 
Lonely sleeping, he heard a most low 

And a pitiful voice : 'Rise up, sweet William, 

'Tis the voice of your Susan, 'tis the voice of your Susan, 

Unto thy fair one who loves you so dearly,' 

1 1 He opened his arms all to embrace her ; 

All of the moment he discerned her no more. 

He cried aloud and with great wonders, 

Saying, 'Has cruel death deprived me of my dear?' 

12 He jumps in his long boat, he sailed down to Plymouth ; 
This news hid come to him what her cruel parents had 

done. 
'How can you, hard-hearted parents, 
To wrong your tender daughter so on account of gold?' 

He going 

13 Into Susan's right side, turning down the sheet, 
'Once more I'll kiss you, you're so cold and sweet.' 

14 He bent his sword unto the floor, the point unto his breast; 
Long side of beautiful Susan now William do rest. 



70 
The Lancaster Maid 

Known also as 'Betsy,' 'Bessie Beauty,' and 'Betsy and Johnny.' 
This ballad is not only a family tragedy but also an echo of a 
dread very real to simple folk in the British Isles in the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries — the dread of being kidnaped and 
shipped off to practical slavery in the American plantations. See 
'The Trappan'd Maiden,' from the Douce collection, in C. H. Firth's 
An American Garland. Our ballad goes back to the seventeenth 
century, to 'Love Overthrown' in the Pepys collection (Rollins vii 
136-8) ; and it continued in ballad print down into the nineteenth, 
when Pitts of Seven Dials issued the stall print 'The Betrayed 
Maiden' which Firth reprinted {An American Garland 69-71). It 
appears also from time to time in oral tradition, more often in 
America than in Britain. It was sung in Shapansey in the Orkneys 



254 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

a hundred years ago (JEFDSS iii 244) ; in recent times it has 
been reported as traditional song from Nova Scotia (SENS 62-3), 
New Hampshire (SFLQ viii 235-8 — though this is not recent, 
being from a manuscript of 1815), Vermont (CSV lo-ii), Massa- 
chusetts (JAFL XII 245-6), North CaroHna (SharpK 11 4-5), Mis- 
souri (OFS I 235-6), Ohio (BSO 218-19), Michigan (BSSM 
1 14-16), Iowa (JAFL LVi 107-8), Nebraska (ABS 86-8), and CaH- 
fornia (JAFL xix 131-2). A somewhat similar story, though here 
the mother directly murders the girl, occurs as a Boston broad- 
side several times printed (probably about the beginning of the 
nineteenth century) and not unknown in Maine, Vermont, and Mis- 
souri tradition; see NGMS 152-6, Hoosier Folklore v 31-3. The 
text in our collection has lost all sense of the terror of being 
exiled to the plantations. 

'Pretty Betsey.' From the collection of Miss Jewell Robbins of Pekin, 
Montgomery county (later Mrs. C. F. Perdue) ; received early in the 
1920s. 

1 Betsey was of a beauty clear. 

She had lately come from Augusta here, 
A waiting-maid she came to be. 
Oh, Betsey was of a high degree. 

2 There was a woman lived near the town, 
She had a son of high renoun ; 

But pretty Betsey she was so fair 

She drew this young man into a certain snare. 

3 One Sunday evening she heard him tell 
'Betsey, oh, Betsey, I love you well; 

I love you as I love my wife,^ 

And I intend to make you my wife.' 

4 His mother being in the nearest room, 
Hearing what was to be their doom. 
She resolved all in her mind 

To disappoint them was her design. 

5 On Monday morning she early rose. 
'Betsey, oh, Betsey, put on your clothes. 
Out of this country you must go 

To wait on me three days or more.' 

6 Pretty Betsey early arose 

And quickly she put on her clothes 
And out of the country she did go 
To wait on her three days or more. 

7 His mother, returning back to her son, 
But little harm thought she had done. 

^ Evidently this should be "life." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 255 

'You're welcome home, dear mother,' said he, 
'But where is the waiting maid. Betsey?' 

8 *Oh, son, oh, son, I've lately seen 
That all your love is for Betsey. 
But alas ! alas ! it's all in vain, 

For Betsey's sailing over the main.' 

9 Soon this young man was saken sad- 
And no kind news would make him glad. 
But slumbering dreams would make him cry 
'Oh, Betsey, for your sake I die.' 

71 

The Drowsy Sleeper 

Familiar both in print and as traditional song on both sides of 
the water; see BSM 1 18-19, and add to the references there given 
Virginia (FSV 56-7), North Carolina (FSRA 81-2; a fragment 
of it sung by Negroes, ANFS 177-8), Florida (SFLQ viii 167-8), 
Arkansas (OFS i 246), Missouri (OFS i 244-6), Ohio (BSO 
92-4), Indiana (BSI 170-4), Michigan (BSSM 86-8), Illinois 
(JAFL LX 223-4), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 31). Mrs. Steely 
found it in the Ebenezer community in Wake county. It is No. 
518 in the series of stall ballads printed by Wehnian in New York. 
For its possible relation to the Gude and Godlic Ballatcs of 1567, 
see JEFDSS in 161-4. Very often it is combined, as in version 
B below, with 'The Silver Dagger,' probably because of the weapon 
(sometimes specifically a dagger) which the girl tells her lover 
that her father (or mother) has in readiness against him. 

A 
'Awake, Arise.' Secured by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of a woman 
who "could not read or write." Mrs. Sutton notes : "This ballad is 
chiefly noticeable lor its tune; ... it is like a gypsy song, all wailing 
minors." 

1 'Awake, arise, you drowsy sleeper ! 
Awake, arise ; it's near about day. 
Awake, arise ; go ask your father 
If you're my bride to be. 

And if you're not, come back and tell me ; 
It's the very last time I'll bother thee.' 

2 'I cannot go and ask my father, 
For he is on his bed of rest 

And in his hand he holds a weapon 
To kill the one I love the best.' 
* This may represent "sick and sad" or "taken sad." 



256 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 'Ah, Mary, dear Mary, you know I love you! 
You've nearly caused my heart to break. 
From North Carolina to Pennsylvany 

I'd cross the wide ocean for your sake. 

4 'I'll build my house on some distant river 
And there I'll spend my days and years. 
And I'll eat nothing but green willow 
And drink nothing but my tears.' 



'Charlie and Bessie.' Contributed by W. Amos Abrams of Boone in 
1937 with the note that "my father learned this from my mother about 
1907." Here the story is definitely combined with that of 'The Silver 
Dagger.' 

1 'Bessie, oh, Bessie, go and ask your father 
If you can be a bride of mine. 

And if he says "no," please come and tell me 
And I'll no longer bother thee.' 

2 'Oh, Charlie, oh, Charlie, I need not ask him. 
He's in the room a-taking his rest, 

And in his right hand a silver dagger 
To kill the one that I love best.' 

3 'Bessie, oh, Bessie, go ask your mother 
If you can be a bride of mine. 

And if she says "no," please come and tell me 
And I'll no longer bother thee.' 

4 'Charlie, oh, Charlie, I need not ask her. 
She's in the room a-taking her rest. 
And in her right hand a silver dagger 
To kill the one that I love best.' 

5 And he taken up that silver dagger 
And plunged it in his snowy white breast. 
Saying, 'Farewell, Bessie, farewell, darling; 
Sometimes the best of friends must part.' 

6 And she taken up that bloody weapon 
And plunged it in her lily-white breast. 
Saying, 'Farewell, father; farewell, mother; 
I'll die with the one that I love best.' 

c 

'An Ardent Lover,' Another quite different text from Professor 
Abrams. It begins with a "bedroom window" stanza : 

'Who's that, who's that at my bedroom window 
That calls so loud as to wake me up ?' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 257 

"Tis he, 'tis he, he's your own true love here, 
Here, for your sake, I'm standing here.' 

In the ensuing dialogue he is told that her father "holds a reaper To 
slay the one that breaks his rest," and that her mother "holds a letter 
From that young man that I love best." Whereupon follow the two 
concluding stanzas : 

'Love, oh, love, she said she wouldn't have me. 

I'll sail the ocean till I die. 

Then I'll sail away then to the sea 

If I can find some girl that will have me. 

'Oh, don't you see them clouds rising, 
Dark and thick, and thunder roar? 
I live in hopes to see some pleasure 
Before these clouds does overblow,' 

D 

'Oh, You Drowsy Sleeper.' Secured from James York of Olin, Iredell 
county, in 1939. Slightly longer than the preceding versions. The first 
two stanzas are : 

'Wake up, wake up, you drowsy sleeper, 
Wake up, wake up; 'tis almost day. 
How can you lie there and slumber 
When your true love is a-going away?' 

'Who is this at my side window 
A-calling of my name so sweet?' 
'It's a young man that you are loving. 
One word with thee I wish to speak.' 

Then follows the dialogue, in which it appears that the mother (who 
is mentioned first) holds in her hands "a letter To read to her children 
in distress" and the father a weapon wherewith "To slay the young 
man that I love best." 
It ends with two stanzas from 'Little Sparrow* : 

'I wish I was a little sparrow. 

One of them that could i\y so high. 

I'd fly and sit on my true love's dwelling. 

And when she talked I'd be close by. 

'Neither am I a little sparrow 
And neither do I have wings to fly ; 
So I'll sit down and weep in sorrow, 
I'll sing and pass my troubles by.' 

E 
'O Drowsy Sleeper.' From Otis Kuykendall of Asheville, 1939. A 
truncated text of four stanzas, the last of which does not appear in our 
other versions: 



258 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Oh, who is that in yon porch window 
A-talking of your own true love? 
Oh yes, oh yes, it is my darhng, 
It is the one that I love best. 



72 
The Silver Dagger 

Something of a favorite in the South and West, this ballad seems 
not to be found in New England tradition. See BSM 123, and add 
to the references there given Virginia (FSV 57-9), Florida 
(SFLQ VIII 185-6), Missouri (OFS 11 52-8), Ohio (BSO 92-4, 
in combination with 'The Drowsy Sleeper'), Indiana (BSI 21 1-4), 
Illinois (JAFL lx 218-9), and Michigan (BSSM 89-90). Mrs. 
Steely found it in the Ebenezer community in Wake county. Since 
the texts, though less or more complete, all tell the same simple 
story, only one, the fullest, is given complete here. 

A 
'An Awful Warning.' Contributed in 1916 by J. W. Clayton, student 
at Trinity College. 

r Young folks, young folks, give me your attention 
Of these few lines I'm about to write. 
For they are true as ever mentioned. 
Concerning a fair and a youthful bride. 

2 A young man courted a handsome lady, 
He loved her as he loved his life, 

And while alone he had vowed to make her 
His own and adoring little wife. 

3 Now when his parents came to know this 
They sought to part them night and day, 
Saying, 'Son, oh, son, why are you so foolish? 
Why, she's so poor,' they would oft times say. 

4 Down on his knees he prayed before them: 
'Oh, cruel parents, pity me. 

Don't take from me my only jewel, 
For she is more than life to me.' 

5 Now when this lady came to know this 
She volunteered what she would do. 
She sauntered around and left the city, 
Its pleasant groves no more to you.^ 

6 She wandered down by the flowing river 
And there prepared herself for death. 

* Miswritten, or misheard, for "view." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 259 

She took from her bosom a silver dagger 

And she pierced it through her snow-white breast. 

Her lover being in yonder thicket 
And hearing all her love-sick groans, 
He rushed to where his love lay dying. 
Said she, 'True love, I'm going home.' 

He then picked up the dying body 

And rolled it over in his arms, 

Saying, 'Is there gold or friends can save you. 

Or must you die with all your charms ?' 

Her coal-black eyes like the stars she opened. 
Saying, 'Oh, true love, you've come too late. 
Prepare to meet me on Mount Zion, 
Where all our joys will be complete.' 

He then picked up the blood-stained dagger 
And pierced it through his tender heart. 
Saying, 'Let this be an awful warning 
To those who seek true love to part.' 



The Dying Lovers.' Collected by Miss Jane Elizabeth Newton from 
Miss Lizzie Lee Weaver of Piney Creek, Alleghany county, about 1915. 
The manuscript bears the notation "Written 1838," which probably 
means that this text was written down in that year. Does not differ 
much from A, though it reverses the economic status of the two lovers ; 
here it is the man, not the woman, who is poor and therefore unaccept- 
able as a son-in-law to the woman's parents. 

C 

'O Parents, Parents, All Take Warning.' Contributed by W. R. Shelton 
of Charlotte, with the notation that "another mountain ballad sung 
through Haywood county is 'John Henry was a steel-driving man' " — 
which implies that this text too comes from that county. It is consider- 
ably reduced, four and a half stanzas, but has the essential story. 



73 

Come All Young People 

Evidently a broadside or street ballad, but the editor has not 
found it elsewhere. 

'Come All Young People.' Contributed in 1916 by J. W. Clayton, a 
freshman at Trinity College at the time. 

I Come all young i)eople far and near. 
A lamentation you shall hear 
Of a young man and his true love 
Whom he adored and sworn to love. 



26o NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 He was but eighteen years of age 
When first in love he was engaged. 
He was a mason's only son. 

It was by love he was out-done. 

3 His father unto him did say: 
'My son, don't throw yourself away. 
You know she is of low degree 
And came of a poor family.' 

4 He went one night his love to see, 
Hoping fier company to enjoy. 
Her father unto him did say: 
'Kind sir, forever keep away. 

5 'My daughter is as good as you. 
Forever bid my house adieu.' 

Now this young couple was forced to part, 
Which was the means that broke their hearts. 

6 Next to her chamber she did take, 
A solitary moan to make. 

She wrung her hands, began to weep, 
And fell into a silent sleep. 

7 For many a doctor they did send 
And much upon her they did spend; 
But all of this was spent in vain, 
For still in love she did remain. 

8 She said, 'My mother, I'll tell to thee, 
I wish once more my love to see.' 
Her brother after him did go 

When he her sorrows came to know. 

9 'My love, what makes you look so pale? 
My love, what makes your colors fail ? 
Your cheeks were once as a rose so red 
But now they are as dull as lead. 

10 'Your eyes as black as any crow. 
Down to the grave I think you'll go.* 
Then off her fingers rings did take. 
Saying, 'Always wear them for my sake. 

1 1 'We will forgive our parents dear. 
Although they've been cruel and severe, 
We will forgive them both,' says she ; 

*I am going to eternity.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 26l 

12 She wrang her hands, began to weep, 
And fell into a silent sleep, 
Bidding this world and all adieu 
And everybody that she knew. 

13 Next to the grave he was forced to go, 
Dressed all in black from head to toe. 
He lived and mourned about one year 
But died and never enjoyed his dear. 

14 Come all old people far and near, 
A melancholy you shall hear ; 

I hope you all will warning take 
And never matches try to break. 

74 

Chowan River 

Here a stall or broadside ballad, probably British, has been made 
over to fit a North Carolina locale. Chowan River is an arm of 
Albemarle Sound. The story bears some resemblance to 'Nancy of 
Yarmouth.' 

'Chowan River.' Communicated by Edna Harris, with the notation: 
"Mrs. Pollie Harris, my mother, sings it and she heard it from her 
mother and her aunt." 

1 Last evening as I rambled 
All down by yonders river 
I heard a lady lamenting 
Which caused my heart to quiver. 

2 These words, oh, she did say 
(If I was only with her!) 
'The one that I love dearly 
Has gone over Chowan River. 

3 'The ship has just sailed away, 
A-bounding for the ocean. 

My father has hired the captain 
And given him a very large portion 

4 'To carry my lover away. 

All on the seas to drown him. 

Oh, gracious God above, 

How they did crowd around him ! 

5 'The captain and my lover 
Were on the deck a-walking, 
And like two loving brothers 
Together they were talking. 



262 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

6 'The captain pushed my lover overboard 
All in the sea to drown him. 

Oh, cursed be the captain 
And all of his portion ! 

7 'My father told me not to grieve, 
To wait a little longer ; 

I told him that I would never 
Marry any other, 

8 ' "Oh daughter dear," said he, 
"We've large stores of treasures. 
And you may live out all of your days 
In peace, love, and pleasures." 

9 T'm tired of my life, 
I'm ruined, oh, forever, 
And quickly I'll lose my life 
Here into this river.' 

10 She plunged all in the deep 

Where they could not save her. 
Let's hope that God above 
Is ready to receive her. 

75 

Pretty Betsey 

Deriving originally, no doubt, from broadside or stall print, this 
does not appear to have been found elsewhere as traditional song. 
Perhaps it is hardly that on the coast of North Carolina, but at 
least it has been sung there. Stanza 4 is an echo from 'A Brave 
Irish Lady.' 

'Pretty Betsey.' Reported by L. W. Anderson of Nag's Head from 
Alva Wise, one of his pupils in the school there. 

1 There was a young lady in London did dwell. 
She had a true lover most wonderful well ; 

And when her old father this news came to know 

He beat her so fearfully, he beat her so sore 

Till Betsey was thrown in the bed to rise no more. 

2 One day when the old man was down stairs asleep 
So softly to the window did sweet William creep. 
Saying, 'Betsey, pretty Betsey, I'd freely come to thee, 
But your old cruel father is (juite over me.' 

3 One day when the old man was upstairs asleep 
So softly downstairs the old woman did creep 
For to turn in sweet William pretty Betsey to see. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 263 

4 When William had entered in Betsey's bedroom 
Betsey turned over, saying, 'My doctor has come.' 
'I'm not your doctor,' sweet William replied, 

'But I'm your own true lover, and always shall be.' 

5 Then Betsey turned over and unto him did cry, 
'Oh, William, sweet William, pray what shall 1 do? 
You see what I'm suffering over loving you.' 

6 Then William laid down on Betsey's bedside. 
Betsey turned over, in his arms she died. 
'There's no other lady a-liking I'll take 

For thinking of pretty Betsey who died for my sake.' 

76 

Molly Bawn 

For the history of this ballad, see Kittredge's bibliographical note 
in JAFL XXX 358. It has been reported as traditional song in 
Ireland (OIFMS 220), Norfolk (JFSS vii 17), Somerset (JFSS 
II 59-60), Maine (JAFL xxii 387, BFSSNE x 12-13), Massachu- 
setts (JAFL XXX 358-9, FSONE 274-6), New Jersey (JAFL lii 
56-8), Virginia (SharpK i 330-1, SCSM 1 16-17, FSV 68-9), West 
Virginia (FSS 339-41), Kentucky (JAFL xxx 359-6o, SharpK i 
329, 331-2), Tennessee (SharpK i 329), North Carolina (SharpK 
I 328, FSRA loi), Mississippi (FSM 145-6), Florida (SFLQ viii 
176), Arkansas (OFS i 257), Missouri (OFS i 254-6), Michigan 
(BSSM 66-8), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 32, from Kentucky). 
Our texts are incomplete ; they should end with the appearance of 
Molly's ghost to free her lover of the charge of murder. Sharp, 
noting in the song "a strange admixture of fancy with matter of 
fact," thought that it might be "the survival of a genuine piece of 
Celtic or, still more probably, of Norse imagination." The woman's 
name appears in various forms: Molly (or Polly) Van, Vaughn, 
Bawn, Bond, Bonn; in a stall print by J. Andrews of New York 
as Polly von Luther ! The man is Jimmy; in many texts, as in our 
A, is Jimmy Randall. 

A 

'Polly Bonn.' From the collection of Miss Jewel Robbins (later Mrs. 
C. P. Perdue) of Pekin, Montgomery county. 

1 'Twas one rainy evening. 
The rain it did fall ; 

Pretty Polly was under a holly bush 
The rain for to shun. 

2 With her apron pinned around her 
The rain for to shun ; 

Jimmy Randall he saw her 
And shot her for a swan. 



2C4 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 He ran home to his father, 
His gun in his hand. 
'Dear father, dear father, 
I've killed Polly Bonn ! 

4 'I've killed that fair creature. 
My own heart's delight, 
And I always have intended 
To make her my wife !' 

5 His father being old. 
His head being gray : 

'Jimmy Randall, Jimmy Randall, 
Don't you run away. 

6 'You're in your own country ; 
Your trial shall stand. 

You never shall be condenmed 
By the loss of my land.' 



'Mollie Vaunders.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton, presumably from Lenoir, 
Caldwell county. A fragment only, copied off from the music. 



Come all ye young fellows 
Who delight in a gun, 
Beware of late shooting 
After the sun's down. 
I'll tell you a story 
Which happened of late 
Concerning Mollie Vaunders, 
Whose beauty was great. 



77 

Fair Fannie Moore 

Although evidently the work of some professional ballad-maker, 
this has not, apparently, been found in ballad print. It is reported 
from tradition in Vermont, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Arkansas, 
Missouri, Minnesota, and Montana (see BSM 139, OPS 11 67-9). 
The text in our collection corresponds fairly well with those re- 
ported from Missouri, with numerous slight variations. 

'Fair Fanny Moore.' Contributed by O. L. Coffey of Shull's Mills, 
Watauga county, in 1939. 

I Yonder stands a cottage all deserted and alone. 
Its paths are neglected, with grass overgrown. 
Go in and you will see some dark stains on the floor, 
Alas, it is the blood of the fair Fanny Moore. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 265 

2 To Fanny, so blooming, two lovers there came. 
One offered young Fanny his wealth and his name. 
But neither his money nor pride could secure 

A place in the heart of the fair Fanny Moore. 

3 The first was young Randall, so bold and so proud, 
Who to the fair Fanny his haughty head bowed ; 
But his wealth and his house both failed to allure 
The heart from the bosom of fair Fanny Moore. 

4 The next was young Henry, of lowest degree. 
He won her fond love, and enrai)tured was he ; 
And then at the altar he quick did secure 

The hand with the heart of the fair Fanny Moore. 

5 As she was alone in her cottage one day. 

When business had called her fond husband away. 

Young Randall the haughty came in at the door 

And clasped in his arms this young fair Fanny Moore. 

6 'Spare me, oh spare me !' the fair Fanny cries, 
While the tears swiftly flow from her beautiful eyes. 
'Oh no,' says young Randall, 'go home to your rest !' 
And he hurled his knife in her snowy white breast. 

7 So Fanny all blooming in her bright beauty died. 
Young Randall the haughty was taken and tried ; 
At length he was hung on a tree at the door 
For shedding the blood of the fair Fanny Moore, 

8 Young Henry the shepherd, distracted and wild. 
Did wander away from his own native isle 

Till at length, claimed by death, he was brought to this 

shore 
And laid by the side of his fair Fanny Moore. 

78 

Mary of the Wild Moor 

For the popularity of this song both in print and in tradition, 
see BSM 207, and add to the references there given Virginia (FSV 
70-1), Florida (SFLQ viii 185-6), Arkansas (OFS i 312-13), Mis- 
souri (OFS I 311-12, 313-14), Ohio (BSO 209-10), and Indiana 
(BSI 246-7). Miss Gardner lists it as found in Michigan (BSSM 
481) but does not print a text. Since it is frequently printed, the 
texts recorded from tradition do not differ greatly. 

'Mary of the Wild Moor.' Reported by L. W. Anderson as collected 
from Mrs. Lx)rena Beasley of Nag's Head, Dare county. The same 
text was reported, in May 1920, by P. D. Midgett of Wanchese, Roanoke 
Island, with the air to which it was sung. There is a closely similar 
text in the Blaylock Collection. 



266 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 It was on one cold winter's night 

And the winds blew across the wild moor 

When Mary came wandering home with her babe 

Till she came to her father's door. 

2 *Oh, father, dear father,' she cried, 
'Come down and open the door, 

Or the child in my arms will perish and die 
By the winds that blow across the wild moor. 

3 'Oh, why did I leave this dear spot 
When once I was happy and free? 

But now I'm to roam without friends or a home 
And no one to take pity on me.' 

4 But the old man was deaf to her cries. 
Not a sound of her voice reached his ears. 
The village bells tolled .... 

And the winds blew across the wild moor. 

5 Oh. how must the old man have felt 
When he came to the door in the morn? 
Poor Mary was dead ; the child was alive, 
Closely pressed in its dear^ mother's arms. 

6 Half frantic he tore his grey hair 

And the tears down his cheeks they did pour, 
Saying, 'This cold night she has perished and died 
By the winds that blow across the wild moor.' 

7 The old man in grief pined away. 
The child to its mother went soon. 

And no one. they say. has lived there to this day, 
And the cottage to ruin has gone. 

8 The villagers point out the spot 
Where the willow droops over the door. 

Saying, 'There Mary died, once a gay village bride, 
By the winds that blow across the wild moor.' 

79 

Young Edwin in the Lowlands Low 

For bibliography and previous recordings, see BSM 127 and add 
Maine (BFSSNE xii 12-13), Virginia (FSV 54-5), Kentucky 
(TKMS 45), North Carolina (FSRA 63-5), Florida (FSF 345). 
the Ozarks (OFS 11 59-64), Indiana (BSI 202-3), Michigan 
(BSSM 62-3), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 25-6). The ballad is 
pretty widely known and sung. 

^ Miswritten, or perhaps merely carelessly set down, for "dead." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 267 

A 

'The Driver Boy.' From Miss Rawn's collection, communicated in 1915, 
before she became Mrs. Perry. The manuscript does not tell where ami 
when the text was taken down. 

1 Miss Einily was a pretty fair maid 
And she loved the driver hoy 

Who drove in the mist some gold to gain 
Down in the lowland low, 
Who drove in the mist some gold to gain 
Down in the lowland low. 

2 And seven years returning, 
His fortime to assure, 

That he had gained the driver maid 
Down in the lowland low, 
That he had gained the driver maid 
Down in the lowland low. 

3 'My father keeps a public^ 
Down by the river side, 
And you may go this night 
And lay yourself a-side, 

And meet me in the morning. 
And meet me in the morning.' 

4 'Don't let your parents know 
My name it is young Edward 
Who drove in the lowland low, 
My name it is young Edward 
Who drove in the lowland low.' 

5 Young Edward fell to drinking 
In time to go to bed, 

But little was he thinking 

That sorrow would crown his head. 

6 'That puts me in mind of the driver boy 
Who drove in the lowland low, 

That puts me in mind of the driver boy 
Who drove in the lowland low.' 

7 Said Willie to her father, 
'Let's go and make a show ; 
W^e'U send his body a-sailing 
Down in the lowland low, 
We'll send his body a-sailing 
Down in the lowland low.' 

* The word "house" has evidently dropped out. 



268 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

8 Miss Emily went to bed that night ; 
She dreamed a frightful dream. 
She dreamed her lover was bleeding, 
The blood running down in a stream, 
She dreamed her lover was bleeding, 
The blood running down in a stream. 

9 She got up in the morning ; 
To her father she did go. 

'Oh, father, where is my driver boy 
Who drove in the lowland low, 
Oh, father, where is my driver boy 
Who drove in the lowland low?' 

10 Her father made answer, 
So cruel, you know : 

'He's gone to dwell, no tongue can tell, 
Down in the lowland low. 
He's gone to dwell, no tongue can tell, 
Down in the lowland low.' 

11 'Oh, father, cruel father. 
You shall die a public show 

For the killing of my driver boy 
Down in the lowland low, 
For the killing of my driver boy 
Who drove in the lowland low. 

12 'The ships are on the ocean. 
Sailing o'er my lover's breast ; 
The sea's in gentle motion 
And I hope his soul's at rest; 
The sea's in gentle motion 
And I hope his soul's at rest. 

13 'The coach is on the mountain 
A-sailing to and fro. 

And reminds me of my driver boy 
Who drove in the lowland low, 
And reminds me of my driver boy 
Who drove in the lowland low.' 



'Young Emily.' One of the songs collected by Professors W. Amos 
Abrams and Gratis D. Williams in 1945 from the siriging of Pat Frye 
of East Bend, Yadkin county — concerning whom see the headnote to 
'Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight' G. Somewhat incoherent, but most 
of it can be made out by collation with the fuller text of A. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 269 

1 Youngs Emily was a maid so fair 
She loved to drive a boatman 

All she fained by driving the boat 
Way down the lowland low. 

2 Young Hendrick says to his father 

'We'll send his body a-floating 
Way down in the lowland low.' 

3 Young Henry went to drinking that night 
Was time to go to bed, 

But little was he thinking 

Of crowns to crown his head. 

4 Young Emily went to bed that night 
And dreamed a frightful dream, 
She dreamed she saw her darling 
Lie bleeding in the stream. 

5 She rose up soon next morning 
And to her father did go ; 

'Oh father, where is my darling 
Who driv in the lowland low?' 

6 'He's gone to dwell no tongue can tell* 
Her father did reply. 

7 'Oh father, cruel father. 
You'll die a public shore^ 
For murdering of my darling 
Who driv in the lowland low. 

8 'The fish that swims the ocean 
Swims over my true love's breast ; 
His body's in a gentle motion ; 

I hope his soul's at rest. 

9 'His coat's on yonders mountain 
And wavers to and fro; 

It minds me of my darling 
Who driv in the lowland low.' 

80 
The Three Butchers 

This ballad, deservedly popular in England — there are several 
nineteenth-century stall prints of it, and it is still traditional song 

* Should be "show," of course. Perhaps in Frye's speech the two 
words are homonyms. 



270 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

in Sussex (JFSS i 174-5), Wiltshire (FSUT 275-6), and Somerset 
(JFSS VIII 2-3) — goes back to the seventeenth century; see Rox- 
hurghe Ballads vii 59-63. And it has held its own pretty well in 
America; texts have been reported from Newfoundland (BSSN 
82-6), Vermont (CSV 14-15, NGMS 238-40), Virginia (SharpK 
I 372, FSV 39), West Virginia (FSS 302), Kentucky (SharpK i 
371-2), Tennessee (SharpK i 370-1), North Carolina (SharpK i 
371, OSSG 12-13, FSRA 82), Arkansas (OFS i 376), and Florida 
(SFLQ VIII 174-5). It has suffered some loss of coherence in our 
texts. In the original there wejre three butchers ; in our texts the 
men are two, not three, and there is no suggestion that they are 
butchers. In the original the woman is a decoy for the robbers, 
but in our text her killing of the hero seems unmotivated. 



'Dixie and Johnson.' From Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga 
county, in 1915, as "sung and picked on a banjo for me" by John Corum 
of Zionville. Perhaps it needs to be said that "A good woman" of 
stanza 9 is the same woman that the two men rescued in stanza 5. 

1 Dixie said to Johnson some cold winter day, 
'Let's^ go ride the mountain to pass the time away.' 

2 Well, they rode to the top of the mountain, a hundred 

miles or more. 
Dixie said to Johnson, 'I heard a woman cry.' 

3 Well, they looked ofif to the rightside and they looked ofif 

to the left ; 
They saw a naked woman all chained down to herself. 

4 'Woman, woman, what caused you here to lie?' 
'The robbers have robbed me and left me here to die.' 

5 They wrapped a gray coat around her and took her on 

behind. 
They wrapped a gray coat around her and took her on 
behind. 

6 They rode on down the mountain a hundred miles or more. 
There stood seven old robbers all standing in the road. 

7 Johnson said to Dixie, 'Let's take wings and fly.' 
Dixie said to Johnson, 'Before I'll fly I'll die.' 

8 And about six o'clock they let in to the shootin' ; 
They killed six old robbers, the seventh he did run. 

9 Well, Dixie said to Johnson, 'Let's take a little rest.' 

A good woman stepped up and stabbed him in the breast. 

* Here and in stanzas 7 and 9 below this is written '"e's"; perhaps 
an attempt to render the local pronunciation. 



I. I) E R H A I, I. A I) S MOST L Y I! R I T I S H 2y\ 

10 'Good woman! good woman! Can yon tell the crime you've 
done? 
You've killed the greatest soldier that ever fired a gun.' 

B 
'Good Woman.' Contributed by the Reverend L. D. Hayman, prob- 
ably from Pasquotank county, in 191 9 or thereabouts. 

1 'Ciood woman, good woman, oh, what are you doing down 
here ?' 
'The robhers, they are coming to bind me down to die.' 

2 Oh, Johnny, being a good man, a man with a willing mind, 
He threw his overcoat around her and took her on behind, 

3 They rode from six in the morning until the setting of 

the sun, 
Until they came to the robbers — and then the fight begun. 

4 Oh. Johnny being a brave man, he fought with the setting 

sun; 
Oh, Johnny killed six of the robbers, and the other seven 
did run. 

5 Johnny, feeling tired, he lay down for a rest. 

The woman drew a dagger and stabbed John in the breast. 

6 'Good woman, good woman, oh, see what you have done ! 
You've killed the bravest soldier that's from old England.' 



The Butcher Boy 

The British antecedents and the currency in modern tradition of 
this ballad are given in some detail in BSM 201-3. To the refer- 
ences there given should be added Lincolnshire (ETSC 92-5), 
Essex (FSE 11 g-n), Massachusetts (FSONE 179-81), New York 
(NYFLQ III 29-30), Virginia (FSV 72-5; a trace of it in SharpK 
II 381), Kentucky (FSKM 30-1), Florida (FSF 334-6), Arkansas 
(OFS I 230), Missouri (OFS i 226-30), Ohio (BSO 129-31), 
Indiana (BSI 198-201), and Michigan (BSSM 117-19). Mrs. 
Steely found it in the Ebenezer community in Wake county. Not 
versions of 'The Butcher Boy' strictly speaking, but related to it 
are 'She's Like the Swallow,' reported from Newfoundland (FSN 
112), 'The Auxville Love,' reported from Kentucky (FSMEU 
205), 'Love Has Brought Me to Despair,' reported from West 
Virginia (FSS 428-9), and 'I Am a Rambling Rowdy Boy,' re- 
ported from North Carolina (SSSA 173-4). 'The Butcher Boy' 
was printed as a stall ballad by Partridge of Boston and by De 
Marsan and Wehman of New York, and Kittredge has noted 
(JAFL XXXV 361) that it is to be found in five American song- 



272 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

books published between 1869 and 1914. Its appearance in print 
is as likely to be the effect as the cause of its wide popularity. The 
scene is most often Jersey City, but it may be any one of a con- 
siderable number of cities or may be unspecified. A peculiarity of 
nearly all the texts reported is the illogical shift of grammatical 
person — it begins as a narrative by the girl and passes, at different 
places in different texts but generally about the middle of the story, 
to third-person narration about the girl. The texts in our collection, 
one is surprised to find, never locate the action in Jersey City ; the 
scene is Boston town or Johnson City or New York City or Jeffer- 
son City or London City; and in only three of them is the faithless 
lover a butcher boy. 

Elements of 'The Butcher Boy' enter into combination with ele- 
ments of other ballads and songs. Some composites of this sort 
are given after the more normal 'Butcher Boy' texts. For some 
others, see 'The Sailor Boy' C, D, I, and J (no. 104, below), and 
'Little Sparrow' F, in Vol. IIL 



'In Jeflferson City.' From Mrs. Sutton's manuscript book of ballads, 
where this item was entered probably about 1920. Mrs. Sutton com- 
ments: "The rather lugubrious lady that gave it to me had just lost 
her lover. ... He was a dope fiend and a college-trained doctor who 
was never to be licensed in North Carolina because he cheated on State 
Board exams. She said she'd heard he was a 'doper' and she turned him 
down for that reason." 

1 In Jeflferson City I used to dwell, 
There lived a boy I loved so well. 
He courted me my life away 

And then with me he would not stay. 

2 There lived another girl in that same town. 
She took my love and set it down. 

He took the stranger on his knee 
And told her what he once told me. 

3 And I can tell you the reason why : 
She has more gold and silver than L 
Her gold will rise and her silver will fly, 
And then she'll be as poor as L 

4 I went upstairs to make my bed, 
Just one word to my mother I said. 
'Go bring me a chair and I'll set down, 
With pen and ink I'll write it down. 

5 *On every line I'll drop a tear.' 

Was saying, 'Sweet Willie, oh my dear! 

On every line I'll drop a tear,' 

Was saying, 'Sweet Willie, oh my dear!' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 273 

6 Her father came home, the door he broke ; 
He found her hanging by a rope. 

He found a knife and he cut her down, 
And on her breast these words he found : 

7 'Oh, mother, oh, mother, you do not know 
What sorrow this has brought to me ; 
Since first I gained some young man's Hfe 
And on this rope to end my hfe. 

8 'Go dig my grave both wide and deep ; 
Place a marble stand at my head and feet 
And at the foot plant a cedar tree 

To show I died for love of thee. 

9 'And on my grave plant a wilier tree 
That it may mourn and weep for me, 
And in that tree set a turtle dove 

To show this world I died for love.' 



'The Butcher's Boy.' Collected from James York of Olin, Iredell 
county, in 1939. The same successions of events but with interesting 
differences in the telling. The shift of person comes earlier than in A. 

1 In Johnson City where I did dwell 
There lived a boy I loved so well. 
He courted me my life away 

And with me he would not stay. 

2 There lived a girl in that same town 
Where he would go and sit around. 
He'd take that girl upon his knee 

And tell her things that he wouldn't tell me. 

3 I think I know the reason why. 
Because she has more gold than I. 
But gold will melt and silver will fly ; 
Some time she'll be as poor as I. 

4 She went upstairs to make her bed 
And nothing to her mother said. 

Her mother said, 'You're acting queer. 
What is the matter, my daughter dear ?' 

5 'Oh, mother dear, you need not know 
The pain and sorrow, grief and woe. 
Give me a chair and set me down 

With pen and ink to write words down.' 



274 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

6 It was late that night her father came home. 
'Where is my daughter, where has she gone?' 
Upstairs he run, the door he broke ; 

He found her swinging to a rope. 

7 He took his knife and cut her down 
And in her bosom this letter was found : 
'A very fooHsh girl I am 

To hang myself for the butcher's boy. 

8 'Must I go bound while he goes free. 
Must I love a boy that don't love me? 
Alas ! alas ! that never can be 

Till oranges grow on an apple tree.^ 

9 'So bury me both wide and deep, 

Place a marble stone at my head and feet. 
And on my breast place a snow-white dove 
To show to the world that I died for love.' 

C 

'Boston Town.' From Virginia Hartsell of Stanly county. Similar to 
B, but it makes the directions for her burial part of lier speech to her 
mother, before she hangs herself. When her father cuts her down he 
finds in her pocket "these words" : 

'A silly girl I am, you know, 

To hang myself for the butcher's boy. 

'Should I go bound, while he goes free? 
Should I love a boy that don't love me?' 

And therewith this text closes. 



'Boston Town.' Another text from Stanly county, contributed by Vir- 
ginia Bowers. Somewhat reduced ; it leaves out altogether the scene 
between the girl and her mother, and ends : 

He drew his knife and cut her down 
And in her pocket a letter he found, 
Said, 'Take this to the one I love 
And tell him that I died for love. 

'Go dig my grave both wide and deep, 
Place a marble stone at my head and feet 
And on my breast a snow-white dove 
To show this world that I died for love.' 

^ This stanza of the floating love lyric of the folk is likely to appear 
in various songs. It does not properly belong to 'The Butcher Boy.' 



OLDER HALL ADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 275 

E 

'In Boston Town.' Still another text from Stanly county, contributed 
this time by Merle Smith. It does not differ from D except that it has 
"a milk-white stone" in place of "a milk-white dove" in the penultimate 
line. 

F 
The Butcher Boy.' Yet another from Stanly county, obtained from 
Autie Bell Lambert. This introduces no new matter, but the arrange- 
ment differs from that in the preceding texts. 

1 In New York City where I did dwell 
A biitcher boy I loved so well. 

He courted me my heart away, 
And now with me he will not stay, 

2 He took a girl upon his knees 
And told her just what he told me. 
Shall 1 be young? Shall I be free? 
Shall 1 love a boy that don't love me? 

3 Oh. no, no, no, that shall not be. 
For I am young and I can be free. 
Oh, no, no, no, that shall never be, 
For apples grows on a lily tree. 

4 I went upstairs to make my bed 
And nothing to my mother did I say. 
My mother came upstairs to me 

And said, 'What is matter, daring three ?'^ 

5 Oh, Willie, Willie, I tell you why; 
Because she has more gold than I. 
The gold will melt, silver will fly, 
And she will be just as poor as I. 

6 Father came and the door he broke 
And found her hanging upon a rope. 
He took his knife and cut her down 
And in her bosom these words he found : 

7 'Please dig my grave both wide and deep. 
Place a marble stone on my head and feet. 
Upon my heart a turtle dove 

To show this world I died for love.' 

G 

In Boston Town.' A fifth Stanly county text, reported by Eva Furr 
The same as D except that the last stanza is incomplete: 

* How this stanza shoulcf read may be seen in preceding versions. But 
what the contributor meant to write is not apparent. 



276 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Go dig my grave both wide and deep, 
And let me down with a golden .... 

This is an imperfect memory of a stanza about burial found in 'Old 
Blue,' no. 220 in Vol. III. 

H 
'Boston Town.' Reported by Miss Emeth Tuttle of the State Board 
of Charities, Raleigh, in 1926, as sung to her by a two-and-a-half- 
year-old child in Stanly county and afterwards written down by the 
child's ten-year-old sister. Like D and E it omits the scene with the 
girl's mother, but differs from them in inserting the two following lines 
before the final stanza of directions for her burial : 

'And when he reads these few long lines, 
It'll be the last he'll read of mine.' 

I 

'In Johnson City.' Obtained from Mrs. Minnie Church of Heaton, 
Avery county, in 1930. Here again the scene with the mother is 
omitted; and it ends without the funeral directions: 

He took his knife and he cut her down. 
And in her bosom these words he found : 
'Just think what a foolish girl I am 
To kill myself for a gambling man.' 

J 

'In Johnson City.' From Ella Smith of Yadkin county. The first three 
stanzas only, ending: "Some of these days she'll be poor as I." 

K 
'The Farmer's Boy.' From Miss Lura Wagoner's manscript took of 
songs lent to Dr. Brown in 1936, in which this song is dated March 15, 
1913. Although for the most part a normal text, it introduces the lover, 
repentant, at the close and so puts the directions for burial in his mouth, 
not hers. Its relation to our other texts can best be shown by giving 
it entire. 

1 In London City where I did dwell 
Lived a farmer's boy I loved so well. 
He courted me my life away 

And then with me he would not stay. 

2 There is a strange house in this town. 
He goes up there, sits himself down, 
And takes a strange girl on his knee 

And tells her things that he won't tell me. 

3 I hate to grieve, and I'll tell you why: 
Because she has more gold than I. 

But her gold will melt and her silver fly, 
In time to come be poor as I, 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 277 

4 Must I be bound and the boys go free? 
Must I love a boy when he don't love me? 
Alas ! Oh no, that never will be 

Till oranges grow on apple trees, 

5 I went upstairs to make my bed 
And nothing to my mama said. 
She came up, saying unto me, 

'Oh, what is the matter, daughter dear ?' 

6 'Oh, mama dear, you need not know 
The grief and sorrow, pain and woe. 

Go bring me a chair [to] sit myself down, 
A pen and ink to write it down.' 

7 On each line she dropped a tear, 
Calling back her Willie dear, 

And on each line she dropped a tear, 
Calling back her Willie dear. 

8 I went out one evening fair 

To view the plains and take the air. 
I thought I heard some young man say 
He loved a girl that was going away. 

9 When her father first came home 

Saying, 'Where is my daughter? Where has she gone?' 
He went upstairs and the lock he broke ; 
He found her hanging by a rope. 

10 He drew his knife and he cut her down, 
And on her breast these lines were found : 
'What a foolish girl I am, you know, 

To kill myself for a farmer's boy.' 

1 1 When he first went to her grave 

It called him back to his love again. 
He says, 'O God ! how can I live 
To think of the girl I have deceived? 

12 'Come all young men and warning take, 
Never do a girl's heart break. 

For if you do you're sure to be 
In sin and sorrow just like me. 

13 'Go dig my grave both wide and deep, 
Place a marble stone at my head and feet. 
And on my breast place a snow-white dove 
To show the world I died for love.' 



278 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



"Black Birds.' Another text from Miss Wagoner's manuscript book, 
still further removed from the ordinary form. This is essentially the 
same as 'The Wrecked and Rambling Boy' reported by Hudson from 
Mississippi, JAFL xxxix 124-5. 

1 I wish I was a blackbird among the rush ; 
I'd change my home from bush to bush 
That the world might see 

That I love sweet Willie, but he don't love me. 

2 She wrote him a letter with her own right hand, 
She sent it to him by her own command, 
Saying, 'Oh, Willie, go, go read these lines ; 
They may be the last you will ever read of mine." 

3 Her father came home a-purpose to know 
If she was loving that young man. 

So he ripped, he tore among them all. 
He swore he'd fire his pistol ball. 

4 Her father came home that very next night 
Inquiring for his heart's delight. 

He ran upstairs and the door he broke ; 
He saw her hand beyond a rope. 

5 He drew his knife and he cut her down 
And in her bosom these lines he found : 
'Go, dig my grave both deep and wide 
And bury sweet Willie so near my side.' 

6 Well, now she's dead and under ground 
While all her friends go mourning around. 
And o'er her grave flew a little white dove 
To show to the world that she died for love. 

M 
'Sweet William.' From Thomas Smith, with the notation that it was 
"written down about July i, 1915. ^y Miss Mae Smith of Sugar Grove, 
Watauga county, from the singing of her stepmother, Mrs. Mary Smith, 
who learned it over forty years ago." This is still further removed 
from the ordinary story ; it begins in the first person of the man, who 
appears — the matter is not entirely clear — to be a faithful lover. At 
any rate, it is he that breaks down the door and finds the girl hanged. 
It is related to 'The Rambling Boy.' 

I When I was a rake and a rambling boy, 
My dying love both here and there. 
A rake, a rake, and so I'll be, 
Just like the night she courted me. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 279 

2 I wish I was some black thrush bird; 
I'd change my note from bush to bush. 
It's hard to love a pretty girl 

That don't love me. 

3 When sweet William came home at night 
Inquiring for his heart's delight, 

He ran upstairs, the door he broke, 
Found her hung with her own bed rope. 

4 He drew his knife, he cut her down, 

And in her right hand this note he found : 
'Cjo dig my grave both deep and wide 
And bury sweet William by my side.' 

5 The grave was dug, the corpse let down, 
And all her friends stood weeping round. 
Across the grave there flew a dove 

To testify she died for love. 

N 
'The Forsaken Lovers.' From the Reverend L. D. Hayman, then oi 
Durham, about 191 5. The final stanza only. 

82 
The Lover's Lament 

The theme of a man upbraiding an inconstant sweetheart (or a 
woman upbraiding an inconstant lover) is a favorite among folk 
singers. What may fairly be reckoned forms of the particular 
song here presented have been reported from England (JFSS viii 
16-17, from a woman in a London workhouse), Virginia (FSV 90), 
Kentucky (FSKM 87-9), North Carolina (JAFL xlvi 33-4), 
Georgia (JAFL xlv 103-5), Missouri (OFS iv 232-4), and the 
North Woods (Dean 111-12). In all of these except that from 
England, and in all of our texts except the first, the complaint is 
put into the mouth of the man. Mrs. Steely found it in the 
Ebenezer community in Wake county. 



'With Feeling.' This phrase stands in the manuscript in the place of a 
title, but is perhaps merely a stage direction for the singing of the 
piece. Collected by W. Amos Abrams of Boone, Watauga county, 
in 1938, from a manuscript signed Alice R. Moody, Vilas, N. C, and 
dating probably from 1912. 

I As I came from church last Sunday I passed my true 
love by. 
I knew his mind was changing by the rolling of his eye, 
By the rolling of his eye, by the rolling of his eye, 
I knew his mind was changing by the rolling of his eye. 



280 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 I knew his mind was changing to a higher degree. 

Oh, say, my own true darHng, why can't you love me? 
Why can't you love me ? Why can't you love me ? 
Oh, say, my own true darling, why can't you love me? 

3 You said that you would love me when last we had to part. 
And now you are a-slighting me and breaking my poor 

heart. 
And breaking my poor heart, and breaking my poor heart, 
And now you are a-slighting me and breaking my poor 

heart. 

4 I wish I was in London or some other seaport town ; 

I would set my foot on a borders ship,^ I would sail this 

wide world round. 
I would sail this wide world round, I would sail this wide 

world around, 
I would set my foot on a borders ship, I would sail this 

world around. 

5 While sailing around the ocean, while sailing around the 

deep, 
I would think of you, my darling, before I go to sleep. 
Before I go to sleep, before I go to sleep, 
I would think of you, my darling, before I go to sleep. 

6 And now I cross deep waters, and now I cross the sea. 
While my poor heart is breaking you are going at your 

ease. 
You are going at your ease, you are going at your ease. 
While my poor heart is breaking you are going at your 

ease. 



'Pretty Polly.' From the collection of Miss Isabel Rawn (Mrs. W. T. 
Perry). The tune was supplied later by Mrs. Byers. A somewhat 
abbreviated text, in the mouth of the man. 

I As I went out last Sunday 
I passed my true love by. 
I knew her mind was changing 
By the rolling of her eye. 
By the rolling of her eye, 
I knew her mind was changing 
By the rolling of her eye. 

2 'Oh don't you remember, pretty Polly, 

The time you gave me your hand 

And said if ever you married 
* Presumably this should read "on board a ship." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 281 

That I should be the man ? 
That I should be the man. 
You said if ever you married 
That I should be the man. 

'Oh now you've broken your promise 
And '11 marry who you please, 
While my poor heart is breaking 
You're living at your ease ; 
While my poor heart is breaking 
You're living at your ease.' 



The Lover's Lament.' Contributed by Thomas Smith of Zionville, 
Watauga county, in 191 5, with the note that "it is probably not an old 
ballad, but it has been sung in this county for over 20 years. Robert 
Smith of Zionville recited it to me lately from memory." Dr. Brown 
notes that Mrs. Byers sang it ; but the music seems not to have been 
preserved. The fourth repeat of line 4 in stanzas 3 and 4 seems to 
be a mistake. 

1 I went to church last Sunday ; 
My true love passed me by. 

I knew her mind was changing 
By the rolling of her eye, 
By the rolling of her eye, 
By the rolling of her eye, 
I knew her mind was changing 
By the rolling of her eye. 

2 I knew her mind was changing 
To a higher degree. 

It's oh, my loving Molly, 
Why can't you fancy me? 
Why can't you fancy me? 
Why can't you fancy me? 
It's oh, my loving Molly, 
Why can't you fancy me? 

3 Remember your promise 

When you gave me your right hand ; 
You said if ever you married 
That I should be your man. 
That I should be your man. 
That I should be your man, 
That I should be your man. 
You said if ever you married 
That I should be your man. 



282 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

4 But now you have broken your promise ; 
So go with whom you please. 

While my poor heart is breaking 
You are lying at your ease. 
You are lying at your ease, 
You are lying at your ease, 
You are lying at your ease, 
While my poor heart is breaking 
You are lying at your ease. 

5 I wish I was in Dublin 

Or some other seaport town. 

I would set my foot on board a ship 

And sail the ocean round. 

And sail the ocean round. 

And sail the ocean round, 

I would set my foot on board a shij) 

And sail the ocean round. 

6 While sailing round the ocean, 
While sailing round the deep, 
I'll think of my dear Molly 
Before I go to sleep. 

Before I go to sleep. 
Before I go to sleep, 
I'll think of my dear Molly 
Before I go to sleep. 

7 Oh, love it is a killing thing. 
Did you ever feel the pain? 
How hard it is to love a girl 
And not be loved again. 
And not be loved again. 
And not be loved again. 
How hard it is to love a girl 
And not be loved again ! 



'Stinging Bee.' From I. G. Greer, Boone, Watauga county, probably in 
1915 or 1916. The first line is an intrusion, but I do not know from 
where. 

1 A stinging bee is a killing thing, did you ever feel the 

sting ? 
How hard it is to love a girl and can't be loved again. 
And can't be loved again, and can't be loved again, 
How hard it is to love a girl and can't be loved again. 

2 As I went to church last Sunday morn my lover passed 

me by. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 283 

I knew her mind was changing by the roUing of her eye. 

By the rolHng of her eye, by tlie rolhng of her eye, 

I knew her mind was changing by the rolling of her eye. 

3 If I were at Frog Level or some other seaport town 

I'd place my tent on board ship, and [sail] the ocean down. 

Sailing on the ocean, sailing on the deep, 

I'll see my dear little darling before I go to sleep. 

E 

'Little Molly.' Obtained from Alexander Tugman of Todd, Ashe county, 
in IQ22. This version, like that in Dean's collection, seems to be Irish. 

1 I wish I was in Dublin or some other town ; 

I'd put my foot on board the ship and sail the ocean round. 

2 While sailing on the ocean, 

I'd think of little Molly before I go to sleep. 

83 

As I Stepped Out Last Sunday Morning 

This is an English folk song, most often called 'The False 
Young Man.' It is known in Scotland (Christie i 198-9, Ord 174), 
Essex (JFSS 11 152, FSE 11 16), and in this country in Virginia 
(SharpK 11 55-6, SCSM 271-2, FSV 91), Kentucky (SharpK 11 
53-4, FSKM 65, TKMS 50-3), Tennessee (SharpK 11 51-2), North 
Carolina (SharpK 11 51-3, 58), and Illinois (JAFL xl 126-7). 
The Archive of American Folksong lists many items having the 
same or a like opening line, some of which are probably this song. 



*As I Stepped Out Last Sunday Morning.' Communicated by Vir- 
ginia Hartsel! of Stanly county. Here the singer is the girl ; in many 
texts the singer is a third person who overhears the meeting of two 
lovers. Some nonsignificant slips in spelling have been silently corrected. 

1 As I stepped out last Sunday morning 
To hear the birds sing sweet, 

I leaned against the parlor door 
To hear my love speak. 

2 'Come in, come in, my own true love, 
And seat yourself by me. 

I will tell you what I have already done 
And what I intended to do.* 

3 He would not come in or he would not sit down. 
And I can tell you the reason why. 

He promised to be some other girl's man 
And now he's no longer mine. 



284 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

4 I will never believe another young man, 
Let his hair be dark or light, 

Unless he's up some high glorious^ tree 
And I'm sure he can't come down. 

5 There's many a star up in heaven above, 
There's many a sin below. 

There's many a curse upon a young man 
For treating a poor girl so. 

6 I have but a few more days on earth 
To spend with you, my dear. 

But I have always prayed for you, my love. 
That we may meet in the heavens above. 



'I Walk Out Last Sunday Morning.' From Eva Furr, also of Stanly 
county. The grammar is somewhat chaotic, but is left as in the 
manuscript. 

1 Just I walk out last Sunday morning 
To let thy birds sing sweet. 

I laid my head in the parlor room door 
To hear my, true love speak, 

2 'Come in, come in, my own true love, 
And sit yourself by me.' 

And he would come in nor he wouldn't sit down ; 
I can tell you the reason why. 

3 Because he promised to be some other girl's man 
And his heart is no longer mine. 

But never de less I believe another young man. 
Let his hair be dark or brown. 

4 Until he climbs some hight gladies tree 
And swear he never come down. 

I wish to God I never had been horned 
Or died when I was young. 

5 There's many a star in heavens above, 
There is many a sin below ; 

There a many a crust to a poor boy's soul 
For treating a poor girl so. 

84 
Locks and Bolts 

For reports of this ballad in Britain and America, and for its 
possible relation to the Pepys broadside of 'A Constant Wife,' see 
* Other texts have "gallows tree," which has more point. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 285 

BSM 168 and OFS i 413-14. Martin Parker, professional ballad- 
maker of the seventeenth century, has a song, 'The Lover's Joy 
and Griefe' {Roxburghc Ballads i 599-603), with the refrain 'but 
locks and bolts do hinder,' which may have some connection with 
this ballad. To the references given in BSM and OFS should be 
added Virginia (FSV 91), North Carolina (FSRA 132, and prob- 
ably also 130). Mrs. Steely has found it in the Ebenezer com- 
munity in Wake county. 

'I Dreamed Last Night of My True Love.' Obtained in the summer of 
1945 by Professors W. Amos Abrams and Gratis D. Williams from 
Pat Frye of East Bend, Yadkin county, concerning whom see the head- 
note to 'Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight' G. 

1 I dreamed last night of my true love, 
My arms lay came' around her ; 

But when I waked 'twas nothing so 
And I was forced to lay there 'thout her. 

2 Her yeller hair like strands of gold 
Was hanging over the piller. 

I swore I neither would eat nor drink 
Nor sleep while I was without her. 

3 I went down to her uncle's house 
A-hoping there I would gain her. 

Her uncle answered me, 'There's no such here,' 
And it put my heart all on fire. 

4 I stood a while all in a maze, 
A-thinking how I could gain her. 
A patiently a sword I drew 
And likewise did I gain her. 

5 I took my love by her right hand, 
A sword I drew in the other : 

'If there's anyone here loves dearer than I 
So let them foller on after.' 

6 Her uncle and her aunt and some other man 
So straightly followed on after, 

Saying, 'If his ways you don't forsake 

In your own heart's blood you shall waller.' 

7 'I never married her for her gold or silver 
Nor none of her father's treasure.' 

^ So the manuscript. Just possibly "came" is for "calm" and "a 
patiently" (stanza 4) for "impatiently," though neither is a happy 
emendation. 



286 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

85 

New River Shore 

The story here is similar to that of 'Locks and Bolts,' but it is a 
quite different ballad. For its relation to older English songs, see 
Mackenzie's headnote, BSSNS 137. It is known in America in 
Nova Scotia (BSSNS 137-8), Maine (BFSSNE 11 8), Kentucky 
(SharpK 11 188), Tennessee (BTFLS vi 158-9), Texas (PFLST 
VI 158-9), and very likely elsewhere. It is sometimes called 'The 
Greenbrier Shore' or 'The Red River Shore.' 

'New River Shore.' Reported by L. W. Anderson as collected by 
Delma Haywood from Mrs. Sallie Meekins of Colington, Albemarle 
Sound. 

1 At the foot of yonders mountain 
Where the tide ebbs and flows. 
Where the red roses are budding 
And the pleasant winds blow, 

2 'Tis there I spied the girl 
That I do adore 

As she was a-walking 
On the New River shore. 

3 I stept away to her ; 

I says, 'Will you marry me ?' 
'My portion is too small, sir.' 
'No matter,' said he. 

4 'Your beauty does please me 
And I ask nothing more. 
And will you go with me 
From the New River shore?' 

5 So when her old father 
These words came to hear 
He said, 'I vv^ill deprive you 
Of your dearest dear. 

6 'I will send him away 
Where the loud cannon roar, 
And will leave you lamenting 
On the New River shore.' 

7 He raised for him an army 
Of sixty and four 

To fight her old father 
On the New River shore. 

8 He drew out his sword 
And he waved it around 



L I) E R 1! A I. I. A 1) S M S T I. Y I! R I T I S II 2«7 

Till twenty and four 
Lay dead on the ground 

9 And the rest of the nuniher 
Lay bleeding in gore, 
And he gained his own true love 
On the New River shore. 

10 Now Pollie is married; 
She lives at her ease. 

She goes when she wants to, 
Comes back when she pleases. 

11 Now Pollie is married, 
She lives in renown ; 
She is the grandest lady 
In Baltimore town. 

86 
The Soldier's Wooing 

This old broadside ballad — it goes back at least to the seventeentli 
century — bears some resemblance in its central scene to 'Earl 
Brand' (Child 7) and to 'Erlinton' (Child 8) but is quite different 
in temper and has maintained an identity of its own through many 
generations. It is widely known and sung. .See B.SI\I 103, and 
add to the references there given Virginia (FSV 66), North Caro- 
lina (FSRA 88-90), Tennessee (BTFLS 11 9-10), the Ozarks 
(OPS I 303-7), Ohio (B.SO 14-17), Illinois (JAFL lx 215-16), 
and Michigan (BSSM 380-1). 

A 

No title. Obtained by Mrs. Donald MacRae from Betty Coffey of 
Avery county in November 191 7. 

1 There was a rich young lady of very high renown. 
She had a large fortune of silver and gold. 

Her fortune was so great it scarcely could be told, 
And she loved a soldier because he was so l)old. 

2 'O soldier, O soldier. I'm feared to be your wife; 

My father is so cruel, I'm feared he'll take your life.' 
He drew his sword and pistol and hung them bv his side 
And swore that he'd get married, let what might betide. 

3 He drew his sword and pistol and caused them to rattle ; 
The lady held his horse while the soldier fought the battle. 
The first one he came to he pierced him through the maid.^ 
The next one he came to he served him just the same. 

* Other texts from the South show that this probably should he 
"main." The Missouri text has "brain." 



288 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

4 'Let's run,' said the rest, 'I fear that we'll be slain. 
To fight a bold soldier is all in vain.' 

'Oh stop, bold soldier,' the old man replied ; 
'You shall have my daughter to be your bride.' 

5 'Fight on,' said the lady, 'your portion's yet too small,' 
'Hold your hand,' said her father, 'and you shall have it all. 

6 Now all ye rich ladies who have money in store, 
Never slight a soldier, though sometimes they be poor. 
The soldier's brave, jolly, brisk, and free, 

And will fight for his wife and her liberty. 



No title. From a manuscript notebook lent to Dr. Brown in 1943 by 
Mrs. Harold Glasscock of Raleigh. Most or all of her songs Mrs. 
Glasscock learned from her parents, and she herself can sing them, but 
no recording of this one has been made. 

1 'Oh, soldier, oh, soldier, I fain would be your wife. 
But my father is so cruel he soon would end my life.' 
Away to the parson's ; returning home again. 

They met her old father with seven armed men. 

2 'Oh, daughter, oh, daughter, oh, daughter,' said he, 
'Did ever I think you'd bring such a scandal on me. 
Did ever I think you'd be young Carvender's wife ! 
How^ down in yonder valley I soon shall end your life.' 

3 'Oh, stop,' said the soldier, 'I have no time to prattle.' 

He drew his sword and pistol and caiised them to rattle. 
The ladies held the horses while the soldier fought the 
battle 



4 The first one he came to he run him through the main ; 
The next one he came to he served him the same. 
'Let's run,' says all the rest, 'for I fear we will be slain. 
To fight a valiant soldier I see it's all in vain.' 

5 'Oh, hold your hand, ye soldier . . . 
You shall have daughter, house, and land.' 
'Fight on,' said the lady, 'the portion is too small.' 

'Oh, hold your hand, ye soldier, and you shall have it all. 

6 She got on their horses and homeward they did ride ; 
A fine wedding dinner for them he did provide. 

He called him his son and made them his heir ; 
'Twas not through love but through pure fear." 

* So the manuscript; miswritten for "Now"? 

* Grammatical number is curiously mishandled in this stanza. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 289 

7 Come all ye young maidens with money laid in store, 
Never slight a soldier because he's sometimes poor. 
A soldier, a soldier, both jolly, brave, and free, 
They fight for their wives and their rights of liberty. 

c 

'The Yankee Soldier.' From an anonymous typescript which Dr. White, 
both from the manner of the accompanying note and from the mention 
of Mrs. Buchanan of Horse Creek, assigns confidently to Mrs. Sutton. 
The note says in part : "It seems strange that there are so few Civil 
War ballads in the mountains. . . . 'The Yankee Soldier' is neither 
pretty nor gruesome. ... I am indebted for this copy to Mrs. 
Buchanan of Horse Creek." Of course it is not really a Civil War 
ballad ; merely an adaptation. Dr. White notes on the typescript that 
he found this song in Alabama in 1916. 

1 A story about a Yankee a-comin' from the war. 
He courted Lilly Marrit, a secret from her pa. 
Her pa was so wealthy it scarcely can be told. 

She loved that Yankee soldier because he was so bold. 

2 'Lilly Margaret, daughter, my word you'd better mind. 
I'll shut [you] in a cave, your body I'll confine.' 

*0 father, cruel father, my body you can confine. 

But you can't put the Yankee soldier from out my mind.' 

3 Then up spoke the Yankee soldier: 'Oh, never mind the 

tattle. 
If I'm to be a married man I shore can fight a battle.' 
So his bride she hel' the horses and the Yankee fought the 

battle, 
So his bride she hel' the horses and the Yankee fought the 

battle. 

4 The first man that come he shot through the brain, 
An' the next man that come he served him the same. 
'Fly,' said the others, 'your sons will all be slain ; 

To fight the Yankee soldier you see it is in vain,' 

5 'O Yankee, O Yankee, don't strike your licks so bold. 
Fur I'll give to you my daughter and forty pounds o' gold.' 
'No,' says the daughter, 'the sum it is too small. 

Fight on, my Yankee soldier, you soon will git it all.' 



'The Bold Soldier.' One of the songs collected by Professors W. A. 
Abrams and Cratis D. Williams in 1945 from the singing of Pat Frye 
of East Bend, Yadkin county. See headnote to 'Lady Isabel and the 
Elf-Knight' G. Pretty much the same as B and yet with sufficient 
variations to justify giving the text here. The spelling and pointing 
have been normalized, but the idiom is retained. 



290 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 There was a young soldier, he lately came from war, 
He courted a lady with fortune and rich store. 

Her fortune was so great it scarcely could be told, 
Although she loved a soldier because he was so bold. 

2 'Bold soldier, bold soldier, I cannot be your wife ; 
My father is so cruel, I'm afraid he'd take your life.' 

He drew his sword and pistol and he hung them by his side 
And he swore he would get married, let what would 
provide. 

3 They were going to the priest, and, returning home again, 
They met her old father and seven armed men. 

He drew his sword and pistol and he caused them to rattle. 
And the ladies belt their horse while the soldier fought 
the battle. 

4 The first one he came to he fought him in the main. 
The next one he came to he served him just the same. 
'Let's run,' says the rest, 'we find we shall l)e slain ; 
Till fighting with yon soldier we find it all in vain,' 

87 

Early, Early in the Spring 

For a brief history of this ballad and its appearance in other 
collections, see BSM 163, and add to the references there given 
Virginia (FSV 62-3), North Carolina (FSRA 130-1), Arkansas 
(OFS I 334-5, 337), Missouri (OFS i 333-4, 335-7), and Indiana 
(SFLQ V 175-6). The three texts in our collection do not differ 
greatly. 



'Early, Early in the Spring.* Secured from ]\Iiss Fannie Grogan oi 
Silverstone, Watauga county, in May 1917- 

1 Early, early in the spring 

I went on board to serve my king 
And left my dearest dear behind, 
Who ofttime said her heart was mine. 

2 When I held her in my arms 

I thought I held ten thousand charms, 
A thousand promises and kisses sweet, 
Saying, 'We will get married next time we meet.' 

3 When I was sailing and on the sea 
Not a moment of peace, oh, could I see 
For writing letters to my dearest dear ; 
But not one word from her could I hear. 



OLDER H A I, L A D S MOSTLY H R I T I S II 2gi 

4 At last I came to Samcgo town.^ 

I walk the streets both up and down 

Inquiring for my dearest dear, 

But not one word from her could I hear. 

5 I walked right up to her father's hall, 
There for my true love I did call. 
The answer was, 'She is married now; 
She married a man to better her life.' 

6 I walked right up, her hand did take, 
Sayitig, 'Now all false promises I will break. 
You have proved false and I've proved true. 
And now forever I'll bid you adieu. 

7 'I'll go back on board again, 
I'll go back to serve my king, 
I'll go back where the bullets fly, 
Sail on deep water until I die.' 

8 'Oh, don't go back on board again. 
Oh, don't go back to serve your king, 
Oh, don't go back where the bullets fly ; 

For there's many pretty girls much better than I.' 

9 'I'll curse both gold and silver too, 
Also the girl that don't prove true. 
That will marry a man for riches' sake 
And leave her true lover's heart to break. 

10 'There is a river runs through this town 
In which my body may be found. 
I want to be buried under youn's green tree. 
Remember, love, I died for thee.' 



'Early in the Spring.' As sung by Mrs. Charles K. Tillett, of Wan- 
chese, Roanoke Island, in 1922. The text does not differ markedly 
from A. No town is named. The last four of the seven stanzas run : 

4 Her cruel old parent made this reply : 
'My daughter is married and you deny.' 

'Your daughter is married ? What do you mean ?' 
'My daughter is married most like a queen.' 

5 'Oh, curse all gold and silver too, 

Curse all sweethearts that won't prove true ; 
Curse be the man that's married my love, 
May he have curses from above.' 

^ Cambiaire's Tennessee text and Henry's from Virginia have "Saint- 
ler's town" ; one of Cox's from West Virginia has "Gladys town." I 
can explain none of these names. 



292 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

6 'Oh, Stop, young man ! Oh, stop !' says she, 
'There's as weaUhy girls in this town as I. 
Your fortune great but none Hke mine, 

So don't speak harm of a woman kind.' 

7 I sail to the city call[ed] seaport town 
Where the cannon balls will me surround ; 
I sail the seas till the day I die 

And sweep the deep where the bullets fly. 

c 

'It Was Early.' Contributed by James York of Olin, Iredell county, in 
1939. Although it does not differ greatly from A and B, its variants 
interestingly illustrate the operation of oral tradition. The last line of 
each stanza is repeated. 

1 It was early, early in the spring 

I was pressed on board to meet the king, 
To leave my dearest dear behind 
Who had ofttimes said that her heart was mine. 
Who had ofttimes said that her heart was mine. 

2 As I was on the raging sea 
I took the opportunity 

To write unto my dearest dear ; 
But nothing from her could I hear. 

3 I rode up to her father's hall 
And loudly for her did I call. 
Her father made me this reply, 

Saying, 'She is married and you must be denied.' 

4 I asked him what that he did mean. 
He answered me all in her name : 
'She's married to a richer life ; 

Go, find you another, another wife.' 

5 Cursed be his gold and silver too 
And all fair girls who won't be true, 
Who will their own fair promise break 
And marry another for riches' sake. 

6 I'll go where the drum and fife do play 
And never ceaseth night or day. 

I'd rather be on the raging sea 
Than to be in a false girl's company. 

7 'Oh, Willie, Willie, please stay on shore, 
Don't go to the raging sea any more. 
There's girls all around more fair than I. 
Don't split the waves where the bullets fly.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY HRITISII 293 

8 And since I've lost my gold and^ crown, 
I'll sail the ocean round and round, 
I'll sail the sea till the day I die, 
I'll split the waves where the bullets fly. 

88 
Charming Beauty Bright 

English in origin, this song seems now to be better known in this 
country. See BSM 164, and add to the references there given 
Virginia (FSV 63-4), North Carolina (FSRA 130-1), Florida 
(FSF 343-4), Arkansas (OFS i 348-9), Missouri (OFS i 346-7), 
Ohio (BSO 113-14), Indiana (BSI 106, SFLQ iii 203-4), Illinois 
(JAFL LX 216-17), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 33). 

A 

'The First Girl I Courted.' Contributed, with the tune, by Thomas 
Smith of Zionville, Watauga county, with the note : "The above song 
was recited by Mrs. Peggy Perry in March, 1915, and written down by 
her daughter-in-law Mrs. Lilly Perry. It was a popular song in Mrs. 
Perry's younger days, probably sixty years ago, she says." 

1 The first girl I courted she was a beauty bright, 
And on her I fixed my own heart's delight. 

I courted her for love, for love I did intend. 

Never more, never more could I have love^ to complain. 

2 And when her old father came for to know 
If me and his daughter together would go, 
They locked her up so close, so tight and near, 
I never, never could get sight of my dear. 

3 Away to the war I was forced to go, 
To see if I could forget my love or no. 

And when I got there, the army shined so bright 

It just put me more in mind of my own heart's delight. 

4 For seven years I stayed and tired for the king. 
And then I resolved to come back again. 

And when her father seen me he looked at me and cried. 
'My daughter loved you dearly, and for your sake she 
died.' 

5 And I stood like one to be slain. 

The tears from my eyes like showers of rain. 
My true love is dead, she died in despair. 
She's lying in her grave, and I wish I was there. 
* No doubt this should be "golden." 



Read "cause" or "reason." See texts B and D. 



294 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



'Seven Year Song.' Mrs. Sutton reported this from the singing of 
Myra Barnett (Miller) of the Brushies in Caldwell county, from whom 
she learned so many old ballads. Myra learned it from Mrs. Ann 
Brown, who lived in the "time of the war" (the Civil War) and "knew 
a great deal about soldiers, Myra said, and she believed that soldiers 
were seldom true to the girls they left behind them." 

1 Once I courted a charming beauty bright, 
Upon her I placed my whole heart's delight. 
I courted her for love and love I did obtain, 
Nor had I any reason at all to complain. 

2 When her old father came this for to know, 
That me and his daughter we must go. 

He locked her in her chamber, he kept her so severe 
That I did not get to see one single sight of my dear.' 

3 Then to the army a soldier I did go 

To see whether I could forget her or no. 
Seven long years did I serve thee, my king, 
And seven long months I returned home again. 

4 And returning home with my army- shining bright 
I had a little thought of my whole heart's delight. 
Her mother met me, she answered and she cried, 

'My daughter dearly loved you and for your sake she died.' 

5 Then I was struck like a man that was slain ; 
Tears poured down my face in great showers of rain. 



c 
•The First Girl I Courted.' Sung by Mrs. Charles K. Tillett of Wan- 
chese, Roanoke Island, in IQ22. Five stanzas, of which the first three 
differ somewhat from the corresponding stanzas of A and B. They run: 

I The first girl I courted was a charming beauty bright 
And on her I press my own heart delight ; 
I courted her for love and love I did entend. 
And have you any reason why I should explain ? 

' Mrs. Sutton reports as variant readings in this stanza : 

Then to her mother I often did go 

To see whether I could get her or no. 

She 

and 

Then to her parents a suitor I did go 

To see whether I could have her or no. 

They ... 

* Read of course "armor," which seems to carry the original of the 
song pretty far back. Perhaps the singer did not understand "armor" 
and used instead a word she did know. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 295 

2 When her old father this news came to hear 

He says, 'Daughter, I deprive you of your own dearest 

dear.' 
So he locked her up, and he kept her so secure 
That I never laid eyes on my darling any more. 

3 Last Monday morning blew a sweet and a pleasant gale, 
And at that very hour our ship she did set sail. 
When she saw me leaving she looked at me and cried. 
Says, 'I never shall forget until the day I die.' 

D 
No title. Collected from James York of Olin, Iredell county, in August 
1939. This is the fullest text in the North Carolina collection. 

1 Once I courted a very beauteous maid, 

I courted her by day and I courted her by night ; 
I courted her for love and love I did obtain, 
And there's where she had no right to complain. 

2 As soon as her parents came for to know 
That I was courting their daughter I know^ 
They locked her so high, they kept her so fire 
I never could get the sight of my dear. 

3 Back to her chamber three times a day I'd go 
To see if she had forgotten me, I know; 

I might have loved another of higher degree. 
But my love it is for you and none but thee. 

4 Back to the war I thought I would go 
To see if I could forget my love or no. 

But when I got in sight the armor shined so bright 
It put me in remembrance of my old heart's delight. 

5 I served out my time, which was seven years or more. 
Seven years or more I was returning to shore. 

Where shall I go or what shall I do? 

6 Back to her parents I thought I would go 
To see if they had forgotten me or no. 

Her mother saw me coming. She wrung her hands and 

cried, 
'My daughter loved you freely and for your sake she 

died.' 

* Not knowing how to construe the last two words of this line, I 
leave them unpointed. In the next line, perhaps read "fine" for "fire." 



296 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 There I stood just like one been slain. 

The tears were streaming down my cheeks just like great 

showers of rain. 
Good lock and good lock,^ the pain I cannot bear. 
My love is in her grave and I wish that I was there. 

8 I went to her grave ; I knelt down there 

And I prayed, 'My love is in her grave and I wish I were 

there.' 
If any one here that has ever felt the pain, 
Go bring to me one pen and ink and I'll write down the 
same. 

89 

The Glove 

For the history of this story and its appearance as a ballad, see 
Barry's note in NGMS 69-70. Originating in Spain, it had spread 
by the sixteenth century to Italy and to France, and in the latter 
country was incorporated in Brantome's Memoircs of the French 
court. It was in this French form that it was known to Schiller, 
Leigh Hunt, and Browning, and their rendering of it ('Der 
Handschuh,' 'The Glove and the Lions,' 'The Glove') all keep the 
sophisticated courtly moral of the original anecdote — Browning, 
characteristically, with a further ethical analysis. In its street- 
ballad form the moral of the tale is inevitably simpler: only the 
brave deserve the fair. The earliest English ballad rendering of 
the story is a long-winded afifair preserved in the Percy collection 
of broadsides. The nineteenth-century prints — both Catnach and 
Pitts printed it — are shorter, and it is from these that the texts 
found in oral tradition derive. It has been reported from Scotland, 
Somerset, Nova Scotia, Vermont, Virginia (FSV 38), Kentucky, 
and Mississippi. Quite exceptionally, one of our two North Caro- 
lina texts retains the more cynical moral of the original anecdote. 
On that account, and because the two texts illustrate the vagaries 
of oral tradition, both are given. 

A 

'The Squire's Sons.* Contributed by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga 
county, in 1915, with the notation: "The verses are part of a song which 
has been sung for nearly 50 years in Caldwell and Watauga counties. The 
above verses were sung by Mrs. Rebecca Icenham and Bennett Smith in 
February, 191 5." As this note indicates, the version is not complete; 
part of the action has been lost between the fifth and the sixth stanzas. 

I In Oxford where there lived a lady, 
She was beautiful and gay ; 
She was of great resolution 
No man of life could her betray. 
' Should this be "good luck" or "alack" ? 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 297 

2 The squire's sons, two loving brothers, 
Came this fair lady for to see. 

This young lady expressly to [Id] them 
That how 'I can but one man's bride be.' 

3 This young lady expressly told them : 
'How can I be but one man's bride? 
Come to me tomorrow morning 

And the matter I'll decide.' 

4 They went home, these loving brothers, 
Not thinking of their dismal doom, 
While she lie lisping on her pillow 
Till the morning light did come. 

5 She called for her coach and called for her horses. 
On yonders mountain for to ride 



Where the roaring lions doth abide. 



6 Up and spoke the noble captain: 
'Madam, your offer I do refuse. 

For in that den there is great danger; 
I'm sure a man his life would lose.' 

7 Then up and spoke the noble captain, 

He spoke like a man that was troubled in mind. 
Saying, 'I'll wander off in some lone desert 
Where neither man nor beast can find. 

8 'There I'll spend my lonely hours. 
Seeking of my dismal doom, 

Till death shall come and me deliver 
To my immortal home.' 

9 Up and spoke the brave lieutenant : 
'I would not have you for my wife. 
I find by your actions 

That you care nothing for my life.' 



The Lion's Den.' Secured from Mrs. Julia Grogan, Silverstone, Wa- 
tauga county, in 1926. Vagaries of spelling, pointing, and use of capitals 
have not been preserved. 

I In Noxford near there lived a lady 
And she was beautiful and gay, 
And she was of some resolution 
No man of life can her betray. 



290 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 Unless he be some man of honor, 
Let him be by land or sea. 

A esquire's sons, two loving brothers. 
Came this fair lady for to see. 

3 One of these men was a noble captain 
Over a ship called Colonel Carr, 
The other was a brave lieutenant, 

A man of honor, a man of war.^ 

4 This lady she expressly told them, 
'How can I be but one man's bride? 
Come here to me tomorrow morning 
And this matter I'll decide.' 

5 These two loving brothers went home 
Not thinking of their dismal doom. 
While she lay lisping on her pillow 
Until the morning light did come. 

6 And then she called for coach and horses 
Early attended and ready be 

'While I ride on to yonder bowers- 
These roaring lions for to see.' 

7 She rode on to yonder bowers. 

The lions they were fondling around, 
And for the space of one half of a hour 
She lay speechless on the ground. 

8 But, alas!^ she did recover. 

Down in the den she threw her fan, 
Saying, 'Either of you to gain a lover 
Can go and bring my fan again.' 

9 And up bespake the noble captain, 
Saying. 'Madam, your ofifer I do refuse. 
For in that den there is great danger 
And a man his life, I am sure, would lose.' 

10 Then up bespoke this brave lieutenant. 
He raised his voice both loud and high, 
Saying, 'Madam, I am a man and a man of honor, 
And I will bring your fan or die.' 

' Catnach's text makes this stanza intelligible : 

The one had a Captain's commission 
Under the command of Colonel Carr 
The other was a lieutenant 
On board the Tiger man of war 

* In Catnach's print she goes to the Tower (of London), where a 
royal menagerie was maintained down to 1834. 

* Probably misheard, or miswritten, for "at last." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 299 

1 1 Then down into the den he entered. 
The lions looked both fierce and g^rim. 

He Stamped and stamped all round among them 
And looked as fierce at them again. 

12 He stamped and stamped all round among them 
Until the lions grew quite still. 

Then low he stooped, the fan he gathered, 
Returning to his love again. 

13 And when she saw that he was coming 
And unto him no harm was done. 
Into his arms she flew a-running 

For to enjoy the prize he had won. 

14 Then up bespoke this noble captain, 

He spoke like a man that was troubled in mind, 
Saying, T wander oflf to some lonesome woods 
Where me no man can ever find, 

15 'And there I'll spend my lonesome hours, 
A-rovering of my dismal doom, 

Until death come to end my hours 
And take me to eternal home.' 



90 
A Brave Irish Lady 

For the relation of this ballad to Child 295, 'The Brown Girl,' 
and for its occurrence in other collections, see BSM 111-12, and add 
to the references there given Virginia (FSV 44-5), Tennessee 
(JAFL XLV 53-4), North Carolina (FSRA 74-5), Florida (FSF 
330), Arkansas (OFS i 209), Missouri (OFS i 205-8, 209-12), 
Indiana (BSI 164-5), Michigan (BSSM 250-1), and Wisconsin 
(JAFL Lii 12-13). The lady is not always Irish, and even when 
she is she sometimes comes from London. The ballad appears to 
have been widely known in this country since early in the last cen- 
tury ; the text reported from Vermont is from a local songbook of 
1823, and the first of our North Carolina texts is from a manuscript 
of about the same date. Stall texts (e.g., that in the Brown Uni- 
versity Library, reprinted in BBM) sometimes end happily with 
the man relenting, but more commonly the story ends with the death 
of the lovesick lady. Besides the three here described our collection 
has another version, without indication of source, date, or place. 

A 
'New Ballad.' From the Adams manuscript, now in the possession of 
W. Amos Abrams. This manuscript hook, made in 1824-25 hy Moses 
Adams of DeHart, Wilkes county, came down through four generations 
of the Adams family before it reached the hands of Professor Abrams. 
Most of the items in the manuscript are of the pious type and will 



300 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

appear later in the present volumes. The sheets are worn and some- 
times scarcely legible. It seems best to print it here as it stands in the 
manuscript, so far as that can be made out. 

1 An Irish lady from London I came 

A beautifull creature sweet Sally by name 

her riches were more than the King could possess 

And Beauty was her welth at her best 

2 to court 
ter welthy young merchant 

income is more than 30 thousand a yere 
fortion 
her beauty so laufty her portion so high 
on this young man she fix 

3 O sally O sally & Sally said he 

Im afraid your love & my love will never agre 

Without your hatred I should 

I'm afraid that your beauty will be my Ruin 

4 I have no hatred nor no other man 
But as for to love you, it is more then I can 
So you may intirely end your discourse 

I never will wed the without I am forst 

5 Twenty four weeks is scarst come & past 
This beautifull creature has took sick at last 
She laughed in love & she new not fore why 
And sent for this young man she once did deny 

6 Am I the doctor you sent for me hier 

Or am I the young man you love now so dear 

Yes you are the doctor can kill or can dure 

And without your assistance I am ruin'd I am shure 

7 O sally O sally & sally sd he 

Dont you remember when I corted the 
When I courted you you deny'd me in scorn 
And now I will reward the for what past & gone 

8 For what past and gone forgit and forgive 
And grant me some more longer time for to live 
no that I want Sally whili.st I do draw breath 

For I will dance on your grave whilist you lie in earth 

9 Then of her fingers puU'd dimonds rings three 

Here take these love and ware them while dancing on me 
For I freely all forgive you all tho you wont me 
Ten thousand time over my folly I se 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 301 

So fare you well papy and all papys friends 

So far you well loving sweetheart god[?J in you a 

I freely all forgive all tho you wont me 

So farewell to this world it is all vanity 



'Fair Sally.' Secured by Thomas Smith in 191 5 from the recitation of 
Mrs. Peggy Perry of Zionville, Watauga county. "She heard it when 
a young woman nearly sixty years ago." The last two lines seem to 
mean that he relents and that all ends happily. 

1 There was a fair lady, from London she came, 
She being Fair Sally, Fair Sally by name; 

2 She being so rich and desperately high, 
Upon a poor boy she would scarce cast an eye. 

3 'Oh Sally, oh Sally, I'm sorry,' said he, 

'I'm sorry that my love and yours won't agree. 

4 'For if you won't have me your own it will prove ; 
Perhaps your own hatred will turn into love.' 

5 In five or six weeks come fast and gone 

She sent for the young man she slighted with scorn. 

6 And when he came in to her bedside 

He said, 'Oh, dear Sally, your head or your side?' 

7 'Oh, my dear lover, the right you have not guessed ; 
The pain that torments me now lies in my breast.' 

8 'The time has now come I'll freely forgive 

And grant you a while longer in this world to live.' 



'Sweet Sally.' Secured by W. Amos Abrams from Mrs. A. L. Bostic 
of Mooresboro, Cleveland county, and sent to Dr. Brown in 1938. 

1 A noble young squire from London he came 
To court this fair damsel, and Sally by name. 
Her being so lofty and a fortune so high 

That 'twas on this young squire she would scarce cast an 
eye. 

2 'Oh, Sally, sweet Sally, pretty Sally,' said he, 
'I'm fearing your beauty my ruin will be. 

Unless your hatred will turn into love.' 

3 'I've no hatred for you, sir; I've no other man; 
But to say that I love you is more than I can.' 



302 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

4 About six months after, the seventh not past, 
I heard of this young lady's misfortune at last. 

She was pierced through the breast and she knew not in 

what form, 
So she sent for this young lawyer whom she had slighted 

and scorned. 

5 As he approached the bedside he said, 

'Is the pain in your head, love, or is it your side?' 

*No, sir, you've not the right guess ; 

The pain that's so piercing is right here in my breast.' 

6 'Oh, Sally, sweet Sally, pretty Sally,' said he, 
'Do you remember when you slighted me? 

You slighted me most shamefully, likewise and you scorned ; 
Now I will reward you for what's past and gone.' 

7 'I hope you'll forgive me for what's past and gone 
And spare me some longer a time for to live.' 

'I'll never forgive you whilst I have a breath 

But will dance on your grave when you're laid in the earth.' 

8 'Twas oflf her fingers pulled diamond rings three : 
'Take these rings and wear them while dancing on me. 
They tell me the buried shall rest in the ground. 
Peace and goodwill to every nation around. 

9 'Farewell to my kindred, farewell to my friends. 
Farewell to pretty Johnny ; God make him a man. 
ril freely forgive him although he won't me. 
Ten thousand times over my folly I see.' 



91 

Servant Man 

Under various names — The Rejected Lover,' 'The Rambling 
Beauty,' 'The Lonesome Scenes of Winter' — this is pretty widely 
known in the Southern mountains: in Virginia (SharpK ii 98, 
101-2, OSC 139-40), West Virginia (F"SmWV 39-40), Kentucky 
(SharpK 11 100, BKH 145), Tennessee (SharpK 11 97, JAFL xlv 
111-12), North Carolina (SharpK 11 97, 98-9), Missouri (BSM 191, 
195) ; also in Wisconsin (JAFL lii 17-18, carried thither from Ken- 
tucky). Though texts and titles vary, it holds pretty consistently to 
one story: the girl scorns her wooer (most often telling him 'You 
can't come again'), later changes her mind and giv^s her lover the 
chance to return her treatment in kind. Mrs. Steely reports a form 
of it as found in the Ebenezer community in Wake county. 

'Servant Man.' Communicated by Thomas Smith of Zionville, Watauga 
county, in 1915. Mrs. Daisy Jones Couch of Durham remembered the 



O I. I) K R I! A I. I, A D S MOSTLY H R I T 1 S H 303 

first Stanza only. With the tunc(s). as sunt>; l)y Mrs. J. J. Miller of 
Lenoir and by Mrs. Polly Rayfield. 

1 I once knew a little girl, 
I loved her as my life ; 

rd freely give my heart and hand 
To make her my wife. 

2 I took her by the hand 
And kisses gave her three. 

Saying, i'U be your humble servant man 
If you will marry me.' 

3 I took her by the hand 
And rolled her in my arms 
And asked her once more 
If she would marry me. 

4 She looked upon him 
With scorn and disdain, 
Saying. 'You humble servant. 
You can't come again.' 

5 He left her six weeks, 
Which caused her to complain. 
She wrote him a letter 
Saying, 'Oh, do come again.' 

6 He wrote her an answer 
He hadn't forgot the time 
She told him 

He couldn't come again. 

7 She wrote him another 
She had forgot the time; 
'Oh, do come again.' 

8 He wrote another ; 

He wrote her full to know 
Sometimes young folks venture 
Where they ort not to go. 

9 If you see a green growing willow 
The top it will wilt away. 

The roots they will decay ; 

So the beauty of a pretty fair maid 

Will soon fade away. 



304 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

92 

A. Pretty Fair Maid down in the Garden 

The opening line is perhaps the best means of identifying this 
favorite embodiment of the returned disguised lover theme. It is 
also called 'A Sweetheart in the Army,' 'The Single Sailor,' 'The 
Returning Soldier,' and by other names. Its range is sketched in 
BSM 148; to the references there given should be added Florida 
(SFLQ VIII 165-6), Virginia (FSV 45-9), Missouri (OFS i 2^8- 
61), Ohio (BSO 152), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 8). Mrs. Steely 
found a fragment of it in the Ebenezer community in Wake county. 
The texts in the North Carolina collection are so nearly alike that 
it seems sufficient to give but one of them. The texts reported are 
listed here : 

A 'The Single Sailor,' 'Gay Young Sailor.' From Thomas Smith of 

Zionville, Watauga county, in 1914 and again in 1915. 

B 'The Returning Soldier.' From I. G. Greer of Boone, Watauga 

county, in 191 5 or 1916. The same text, under the title 'A Pretty Fair 

Maid All in a Garden,' from W. A. Abrams in 1935 or 1936. 

C 'The Rugged Soldier.' From Miss Isabel Rawn's collection, received 

in 1915 or earlier. 

D No title. From P. D. Midgett, Jr., of Wanchese, Roanoke Island, 

in June 1920. 

E 'Edward.' From Mrs. Sutton. "Heard in Madison county." 

F 'The Single Soldier.' From Mrs. Sutton, as sung by "Miss Nita 

Gahagan of Madison county, who learned it from a Mrs. Tweed who 

lived on the forks of Ivy." Differs slightly from E. 

G 'A Sailor's Sweetheart.' Secured by L. W. Anderson from Alva 

Wise, a pupil of his at Nag's Head, Dare county. 

H 'Pretty Fair Maid in the Garden.' From Frank Proffitt of Sugar 

Grove, Watauga county. 

I 'Pretty Maid.' Communicated by J. C. Knox in 1923 or thereabouts. 

J 'Seven long years he has kept me waiting.' From Mary Strawbridge 

of Durham, in July 1922. Only two stanzas reported. 

K 'Pretty Fair Maid.' From Mrs. Daisy Jones Couch of Durham. She 

set down one stanza only, saying that her text is like that in JAFL 

XXII 67. 

A single stanza of this was sung by Miss Jennie Belvin of Durham 
in 1922. 

I have a true love o'er yonders ocean. 
For seven long years he has been gone. 
And if he stays for seven years longer, 
No other man shall marry me. 

Another fragment, from Miss Amy Henderson of Worry, Burke county, 
which she knew as 'The Broken Sixpence,' belongs to the same general 
tradition : 

I sit on my creepie and spin at my wheel 

And think o' the laddie who lo'ed me so weel ; 

He had but one saxpence; he broke it in twa. 

He gi'ed me the half o' it when he ganged awa.' 

Sufficiently representative is the D text, from the seacoast. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 2^^$ 

1 A pretty fair maid all in a garden, 

A brisk young sailor came passing by. 
He stepped up to her as if he knew her 
And said, 'Fair maid, can you fancy 1?' 

2 'O no, sir. A man of honor, 

A man of honor I take you to be, 
Imposing on a fair young lady 
Unfitting for your bride to be. 

3 'I have a true love on the ocean. 
Seven long years have gone to sea ; 
And seven more I'll wait upon him, 
And if he's alive he'll return to me.' 

4 'Suppose your true love he is drownded, 
Suppose's he's in some battle slain, 
SupiX)se he's to some fair girl married ; 
His face you'll never see again.' 

5 'O, if my true love's slain or drownded 
I hope his soul has gone to rest ; 

And if he's to some fair girl married 
I love the girl that he loves best.' 

6 He pulled his hand out from his pocket, 
His fingers being slim and small, 

Saying, 'Here's the ring we broke between us.' 
She fainted at his feet did fall. 

7 He picked her up, gently embraced her, 
Gave her kisses two by three. 

Saying, 'Here's your poor old single sailor 
Coming on shore to wed with thee.' 

93 

John Reilley 

Again a ballad of the returned lover; not to be confused with 
another of the same name in which Johnny, returning from America 
to claim his bride, is shipwrecked and both are drowned. This 
returned-lover ballad is reported from Vermont (VFSB 135-6), 
Virginia (SharpK 11 23-4), West Virginia (FSS 323-5). Ken- 
tucky (LT 34-7, DD 104-5, SharpK 11 24-5; it is listed also in 
Shearin's syllabus), Tennessee (SharpK 11 25, ETWVMB 95), 
North Carolina (SharpK 11 22-3, 25-6), Missouri (OFS i 262-4), 
Ohio (BSO 114-17), and Indiana (SFLQ in 211-12, BSI 215-16) ; 
and it is listed also by title for Michigan (BSSM 480). Its habitat 
in this country seems to be the southern Appalachians and regions 
settled therefrom ; it appears but once in the Northeast. The name 
is sometimes "George" Reilly. 



306 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

•John Reilley.' Reported by I. G. Greer of Boone as sung by J. l'\ 
Spainhour of Morganton, Burke county, in 1921 or 1922. 

1 As I walked out one morning early 
That I might meet the bracing air, 
'Twas there I spied a young Irish lady 
Who seemed to me like diamonds fair. 

2 I walked up to her and kindly asked her 
If she would be a young sailor's bride. 
*Oh, no,' she said, 'I will not marry. 

I prefer to live a single life.' 

3 'What's the reason that you won't marry? 
You differ from all female kind ; 

For you are young, both fair and handsome, 
And, sure, to get married your heart's inclined." 

4 'I could have been married two years ago 

To one John Reilley, both fair and handsome ; 
But he was the cause of my overthrow.' 

5 'Do leave John Reilley and do disdain him 
And go with me to some foreign shore. 
And we'll sail over to California 

And bid adieu to Reilley evermore.' 

6 'I won't go with you to California, 

I won't go with you to some foreign shore. 
My heart's with Reilley and will not leave him 
Although I see him nevermore.' 

7 And when he found that her love was loyal 
He gave her kisses both one, two, and three, 
Saying, 'I'm the man that you call John Reilley. 
And have come for to marry you.' 

94 

Johnny German 

Another of the ballads of the returned lover. Presumably a 
British stall ballad, it has been found, so far as the editor can learn, 
only on this side of the water: in Nova Scotia, Virginia (FSV 49). 
West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Missouri (see BSM 155), and 
Michigan (BSSM 155-6). The shift from first person to third 
person narration is not uncommon in ballads on this theme. 



'Johnny German.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton "as heard sung by Mrs. 
Simpkins, who called it a 'love song.' " How the last two lines of stanza 
I and the first line of stanza 4 are to be construed does not appear. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 307 

1 As I came down to London 
I heard this haj^py news. 

If I'm the lady unto you 
It's you should not refuse. 

2 It's of a jolly sailor, 
A jolly-hearted lad. 

Who met with a comely fair maid 
Whose countenance looked so sad. 

3 He asked her her reasons, 

What made her look so cast down. 
She answered him in modesty ; 
She neither smiled nor frowned. 

4 What for the loss of her true love 
'And from me he is gone. 

He's left me no love token. 
He never more will return.' 

5 'Perhaps I saw that same young man 
When I was last at sea. 

If I'll describe him right to you 
You shall answer me. 

6 'If T describe him right to you. 
And that's the man you know, 

You shall promise then to marry me 
If he comes no more to you. 

7 'He is both brisk and darey, 
No courage he don't lack ; 
He's comely in his features ; 
He never turns his back. 

8 'He belongs unto the Rainbow, 
The mate of Captain Lowe, 
His name is Johnny German. 
Is that the man you know?' 

9 She jumi)ed and skipi)ed for joy, 
Saying, 'Yes, that is the man. 
Come, tell me where's he's living 
And make no longer stand.' 

10 'Cheer up, my pretty Polly, 
For very well I do know 
That your love, Johnny German, 
He died five months ago.' 



308 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 1 Her lily-white hands with sorrow she wrung, 
The tears run down her cheeks, 

She was filled with grief and sorrow 
So much that she could not speak. 

12 Then away to her bed-chamber 
Lonely she did lie, 

With sad lamentations 
Wishing herself to die. 

13 Oh, then it grieved this young man 
To thinV that he had served her so. 
He dresses himself in scarlet red 
And away to her did go. 

14 He dressed in scarlet red 
And away to her he came 
With a braveso[me?] resolution 
[To] comfort her again. 

15 'Cheer up, cheer up, my pretty Polly, 
And leave all tears behind. 

And bid adieu to sorrow 
And comfort you shall find.' 

16 'Oh, now, my loving Johnny, 
What made you serve me so?' 
'Oh, Polly, don't you blame me 
And I'll do so no more. 

17 'I did it to try your constant love. 
To see that you would prove true.' 

'Yes,' she answered, 'I never saw no turkle dove 
That ever receipted you.'^ 

18 ril bid adieu to the Rainbow, 
Since Polly has won my heart. 
I'll never more go from her 
Till death us do part. 

19 She's fairer than the morning star. 
Sweeter than any rose 

Or any blooming flower 
That in the garden grows. 

B 

'Johnny German.' From Mrs. Julia Grogan of Silverstone, Watauga 
county, in August 1922. Essentially the same text as A, yet with suffi- 
cient variation to justify printing it here. It well illustrates, taken in 
conjunction with A, the vagaries of oral tradition. 

'The reading of B, stanza 11, which puts these last two lines in 
Johnny's mouth, is probably right. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 309 

1 As I came down from London 
This happy news I heard. 

I will relate it to you 
If you will ask me. 

2 'Tis of a jolly sailor, 
A jovial-hearted lad, 

Both nice and comely featured ; 
His countions look^ so sad. 

3 'O my pretty fair miss. 

What makes you look so sadown ?'^ 
She answered me in modestee ; 
I never smiled nor frowned.^ 

4 'My true love has inlisted 
And to the war has gone, 

And has left no love to comfort me 
If he never comes back any more. 

5 'He sailed his boat to the Rainbow, 
He sailed for Captain Roe ; 

His name is Johnny German, 
And he died five months ago.'* 

6 She hung her head in sorrow; 
The tears run down her cheeks, 
Weeping and sore lamenting, 
And scarce a word could speak. 

7 She went into her chamber 
And there alone did lie. 
Weeping and sore lamenting 
And wishing herself to die. 

8 He dressed his self in stile 
And hasten back again 
With a jovial resolution 
To comfort her again. 

9 It's 'Rise you up, pretty Polly, 
Xeave all your tears behind ; 
Leave all your sore lamenting 
And comfort you shall find.' 

* Read "countenance looked." 

* This looks like a telescoping of "sad" and "cast down." 

*As the A text shows, this should be "She neither smiled nor 
frowned." 

* This speech should be Johnny's, but it seems here to be put in the 
mouth of the girl. The quotation marks are the editor's. 



3IO NORTH. CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

10 'Oh, dear loving Johnny German, 
How can you treat me so?' 

'Oh, hold your tongue, pretty Polly; 
I'll serve you so no more. 

11 *I just done this to try your love, 
To see if you were true. 

And there never was a turtle dove 
That fair exceded you. 

12 'Farewell to the Rainbow ; 
Pretty Polly gain"' my heart. 
And I never intend to leave her 
If death does not us part. 

13 'She's truer than a turtle dove, 
She is sweeter than a rose ; 
She's like some comely flower 
Where love and beauty grows.' 

95 

The Dark-Eyed Sailor 

This particular form of the returned lover story, though com- 
paratively recent — Barry (NGMS 37) says Catnach was the first 
to print it and that it is "stage stuff" originating probably in the 
1830S — is very widely known and sung on both sides of the water. 
It is reported from Scotland (Ord 323-4), Norfolk (JFSS iv 129- 
35, from a native of Lincolnshire), Newfoundland (BSSN 81), 
Nova Scotia (BSSNS 172), Maine (MWS 42-3. SBML 108-9), 
Vermont (NGMS 36-7), New York (SCSM 267-8), and Michigan 
(BSSM 160-2), and is doubtless sung elsewhere; it is common in 
songbooks. 



'A Dark-Eyed Sailor.' Contributed by Mrs. C. K. Tillett of Wanchese, 
Roanoke Island, in December 1922. Another copy, marked as secured 
by L. W. Anderson of Nag's Head from Maxine TilleU, is the same 
except that it omits stanzas 5 and 6 and changes a word here and there. 

1 'Tis of a comely young lady fair, 
Was walking out for to take the air ; 
She met a sailor upon the way, 

So I paid attention to hear what they did say. 

2 'Fair maid,' said he, 'why roam alone? 

For the night is coming, and the day's far gone.' 
She said, while tears from her eyes did fall, 
'It's my dark-eyed sailor that's proving my downfall. 
' Miswritten, evidently, for "has gained." 




SPRING HOUSE 



MOSTLY BRITISH 



3 'There's two years since he left this land. 
A gold ring he took from off my hand, 
He broke the token; here is half with me, 

And the other is rolling at the bottom of the sea.' 

4 Cried William, 'Drive him off your mind. 
As good a sailor as him you'll find. 

Love turns aside and cold does grow, 

Like a winter's morning when the hills are clad with snow. 

5 These words did Phoebe's fond heart inflame. 
She cried, 'On me you shall play no game.' 
She drew a dagger and did cry, 

'For my dark-eyed sailor a maid I'll live and die. 

6 'His coal-black eyes and his curly hair 

And flattering tongue did my heart ensnare ; 

Genteel he was, no rake like you 

To advise a maiden to slight the jacket blue. 

7 'But a tarry sailor I never will disdain 
But always I will treat the same. 

To drink his health here's a piece of coin ; 

But my dark-eyed sailor still claims this heart of mine.' 

8 When William did the ring unfold 

She seemed distracted 'midst joy and woe: 
'You're welcome, William ; I have lands and gold 
For my dark-eyed sailor so manly, true, and bold.' 

9 In a cottage down by the riverside 
In unity and love they now reside. 

So, girls, be true while your lover's away, 
For a cloudy morning oft brings a pleasant day. 



'The Dark-Eyed Sailor.' Secured by W. Amos Abrams from a student, 
Mary Bost, at Boone, Watauga county. The same as A with a few 
omissions and rearrangements. The first half of stanzas 5 and 7 is 
omitted and the quatrains rearranged accordingly. The first two lines 
of stanza 8 of A are transposed. The final stanza is somewhat corrupted, 
reading 

Down in a cottage they're now living, united and resigned. 
So, girls, be true while your lovers are away, 
For a cloudy morning often brings a pleasant day. 

96 

Lovely Susan 

This seems to be the beginning of a ballad of the returned lover. 
There is not enough of it to permit assigning it to any one of the 
many stall ballads on that topic. 



312 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'Lovely Susan.' Reported by the Reverend L. D. Hayman, Pasquotank 
county, in 1921-22. 

He pulled out his pocket-handkerchief, 

He tore it half in two, 

Saying, 'One half of this I'll keep myself 

And the other I'll give to you. 

While the cannon they are roaring 

Like thunder [in] the sky 

I will think of the lovely Susan 

That I left on the other side.' 

97 

Polly Oliver 

This form of the female soldier story, widely current both in 
print and in tradition — see FSS 387, BSM 183 — is represented by 
but one text in our collection and that a pretty disordered one. It 
appears to have come from W. Amos Abrams, but has no further 
indication of source. It is nearest to Cox's West Virginia version, 
by the help of which some of the corrupted places are cleared up, 
but not all. For the division into stanzas and the indications of 
lacunae the editor is responsible. 

'Pretty Polly.' No date or location indicated. 

1 Pretty Polly lies musing in her downy bed. 

2 T'll go leave my old parents which made me false prove; 
I'll go dress like a soldier and follow my love.' 

3 Coat, britches, and jacket pretty Polly put on. 

Good faith to my soul, she looked like some young man. 

4 She went to her father's horse stable, viewed the horse 

stable round ; 
At last she found one that could travel the ground. 

5 With a case of bright pistols and a sword by her side 
And with her father's bright gilt like a troop she did ride.^ 

6 She rode and she rode till she came to the town ; 
Right there she got down with a slight of a frown.^ 

7 The first one come to her was a brave English lord, 
Next one come to her was pretty Polly's true love. 

* Cox's text has "gueldon," which he glosses as "gelding" ; and "troop" 
is of course for "trooper." 

* Just what the singer understood by this last phrase is not apparent. 
Missouri A has "at the sign on the ground" ; the stall prints, no doubt 
rightly, have "at the sign of the Crown." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 3I3 

8 It's 'Here is a letter from Polly, your dear ; 

9 'Look under the seal and there's a guinea to be found. 
You and your horse, sir' — pretty Polly was helped round.* 

10 Pretty Polly, being drowsy, she hung down her head; 
She called for a candle to light her to bed. 

11 'To bed?' said the captain, 'here's a bed at your ease, 
You may He with me, kind sir, if you please.' 

12 'To lie with a soldier is a dangerous thing. 

I am a young lord, sir, come to fight for my kind.'* 

13 So early next morning pretty Polly she rose. 
She dressed herself in a suit of her own clothes. 

14 Just like an angel, down stairs she removed: 
'Here comes Colonel Wallis, your ideal true love.'^ 

15 Now Polly is married she lives at her ease. 

She goes when she will and she comes when she please, 

16 With a maid to wait on her whener^ she goes. 
And her ideal true love to ride by her side. 



MoLLiE AND Willie 

This is not improbably a disordered and defective form of 'Polly 
Oliver.' 

No title. One of the ballads obtained in the summer of 1945 by Pro- 
fessors W. Amos Abrams and Gratis D. Williams from Pat Frye of 
East Bend, Yadkin county, concerning whom see the headnote to 'Lady 
Isabel and the Elf-Knight' G. 

1 'Watch out, my darling, and don't you say so. 
If you are forsaken to the wars don't you go.' 
'I'm going, I'm going. I'm going away. 

You don't wish to marry ; so why should I stay ?' 

2 A suit of men's clothing, her sword by her side. 
She zolved^ herself in them and away she did ride. 

* Cox's text reads here, intelligibly, "That you and your sailors may 
drink her health round." 

* Read of course "king," as in Cox and Missouri A. 

* Cox's text makes her say. more intelligibly, "O. here is pretty Polly. 
Duke William's true love." 

* Should apparently be "wherever." 

'The manuscript reads '"zolved," and I am unable to suggest an 
interpretation. 



314 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 Little Willie and his true love was riding along; 

Little Willie thought his true love was left back at home. 

4 'Here's a glass of good old brandy and a bottle of good 

old wine, 
Here's a health to those ladies we have left back behind.' 

5 'I love but the one woman, on land or on sea ; 
Here's a health to little MolHe ; I know she loves me.' 

6 She was standing by my side and beared me say so. 
The tears from her eyes like the waters does flow. 

7 'The' 's- a sweet little Mollie has followed me here.' 
'This is your own true love who loved you so dear.' 

99 

Jack Munro 

The story of the female sailor, or soldier, is very old in romance, 
and appears in balladry in various forms and under a variety of 
names — 'Jack Munro,' 'Jackie Frazier,' 'Jackaro,' 'Jack Went 
A-Sailing,' and others. It is widely known both in the old country 
and in America; see BSM 171, and add to the references there 
given Norfolk (JFSS iv 84), Maine (BFSSNE 11 9), Virginia 
(FSV 50-2), North Carolina (FSRA 104-5), Florida (SFLQ viii 
168-71), the Ozarks (OFS i 216-21), Indiana (BSI 206-10), Ohio 
(BSO 106-12), and Michigan (BSSM 401-2— though the story here 
has a different ending suggestive of 'The Maid on the Shore'). It 
is distinguished from other ballads in which the girl goes in dis- 
guise to seek her lover — 'Polly Oliver,' 'The Banks of Claudy,' 
and others — by her actually going into battle in her disguise, by her 
declaration that her waist is not too slender, her fingers not too 
small, that she is ready to face the cannon ball, and (in the more 
complete versions) by her rescuing her wounded lover on the battle- 
field. The waist-and-fingers dialogue, however — an item beloved of 
ballad singers— appears sometimes in pieces in which the girl is 
persuaded not to enlist. See BSM 177-80 and 'The Girl Volunteer' 
in the present volume. 

A 
'Jacky, the Sailor Boy.' Reported by J. E. Massey of Elon College as 
"recited to me by my grandfather, J. W. Massey, Dec. 31, 1916. It was 
recited to him by his aunt, Nancy Massey, before the Civil War." Mas- 
sey's home was in Caswell county. 

I Jacky went a-sailing, with trouble in his mind, 

To leave his native old country and his darling here behind. 

Chorus: 

Sing o', sing o', fare you well, my dear. 

■ The manuscript has "they's," which I take to mean "there's." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 315 

2 There was a rich old farmer, in London he did dwell. 
He had but the only daughter, the truth to you I tell. 

3 She was courted by three lawyers and men of high degree, 
But there was none like Jacky the sailor boy, who ploughed 

the rugged sea. 

4 She stepped into the tailor shop and dressed in men's array 
And enlisted with the captain to carry her away. 

5 'Before you get on board, sir, your name I'd like to know.' 
She spoke with a pleasing countenance, 'My name is 

Stephen Monroe.' 

6 'Your waist it is too slender, your fingers are too small, 
Your cheeks too red and rosy to face a cannon ball.' 

7 'My waist is none too slender, my fingers none to small; 
I'll never change my countenance to face a cannon ball.* 

8 And when the war was ended she took a circle round. 
Among the dead and wounded her darling boy she found. 

9 She took him in her arms and carried him to the town, 
And called for a physician that could quickly heal his 

wound. 

10 So now this couple is married. So well they do agree. 

So now this couple is married — so why not you and me? 



'Poor Jack Is Gone a-Sailing.' Secured by W. Amos Abrams of Boone, 
Watauga county, from one of his students, Mary Bost. Substantially 
the same as A. The chorus is a little longer : 

I'll sing oh, I'll sing oh, I'll sing oh, 
So fare you well, my dear. 

Stanzas 2 and 3 are omitted. The name she gives herself is James 
Monroe. Before the waist-and-fingers dialogue the following stanza is 
inserted : 

The drums began to beat, the fife began to play ; 
Sweet Mary and her loving sailor began to sail away. 

It ends with the following, of which the second and third stanzas have 
been drawn from a familiar country love-making ballad: 

7 She picked him up in her arms and carried him to some 
town, 
And went for the olden doctor to cure his wound and 
wound. 



3l6 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

8 'Oh, hush, you silly lady, oh, hush your silly tongue. 
Why do you talk about marrying, when you know you are 

too young ?' 

9 'I'll be sixteen o' Sunday, and that you must allow ; 

For I must and I will get married — or it is my notion now.' 

lO Yes, this poor couple they got married, so well did they 
agree. 
Yes, this poor couple they got married, so why don't you 
and me? 

c 

'War Song.* Reported by Thomas Smith of Zionville "as sung by Ben- 
nett Smith, who learned it as early as 1865." The music was supplied 
by Mrs. Byers. Only two stanzas were remembered : 

She dressed herself in men's clothing, an opulet she put on. 
She marched into the army to face the cannon ball. 

Chorus: 

Sing lo, so fare you well. 

As soon as the battle was ended a circle she took round ; 
Amongst the dead and the wounded her sailor boy she 
found. 



'The Brisk Young Plow Boy.' Reported by L. W. Anderson of Nag's 
Head as collected by Delma Haywood from Mrs. Sallie Meekins of 
Colington, one of the islands in the Sound. This breaks of? with the 
waist-and-fingers dialogue. 

1 There was a brisk young plow boy, 
Just in the bloom of years. 

He went to see his own true love 
In bitter woes and tears. 

2 He went to see his own true love 
Just for to let her know 

That he was going to take a trip 
And on the ocean go. 

3 'Oh, no, my dearest Willie, 
Stay home and marry me. 
For sixteen months and better 
I have been in love with you.' 

4 'The King is wanting soldiers, 
And I for one must go ; 

And upon my very life 
I dare not answer no.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 317 

'My yellow hair I'll cut off, 
Men's clothing I'll put on, 
And I'll go with you, my love, 
To be your waiting man.' 

'Your waist is too slender, my love, 
Your fingers they are too small. 
Your cheeks are too delicate. 
To face the cannon ball.' 



100 
The Girl Volunteer 

The following song, of which there are three variants in our 
collection, handles only the opening situation of the 'Jack Munro' 
story and that somewhat differently. It is closely akin to 'Lisbon' 
(for which see BSM 177-80) but lacks the waist-and-fingers 
dialogue which marks most texts of 'Lisbon.' Belden, however, 
gives a Missouri version of it at the end of his 'Lisbon' texts. 
Fuson reports it from Kentucky (BKH 104). Mrs. Steely found 
it in the Ebenezer community in Wake county. 

A 

No title. Contributed by W. Amos Abrams as obtained from Mary 
Best, a student, who came from Statesville, Iredell county. 

1 The war is a-raging ; 
Poor Johnny he must fight. 
For I want to be with him 
From morning till night. 

2 I want to be with him, 
It grieves my heart so. 
'Won't you let me go with you?' 
'Oh, no, darling, no.' 

3 'I'll go to your general, 
I'll fall upon my knees, 
I'll offer one hundred 

Bright guineas for your release. 

4 'One hundred bright guineas. 
They hurt my heart so. 
Won't you let me go with you ?' 
'Oh, no, darling, no. 

5 'You'd be standing on picket 
Some cold wintry day. 
And your rosy cheeks 
They'd soon fade away. 



3l8 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

6 'Your rosy red cheeks, 
They grieve my heart so.' 
'Won't you let me go with you?' 
*Oh, no, darling, no.' 

7 'Oh, Johnny, oh, Johnny, 

I love you more than tongue can express. 
Won't you let me go with you ?' 
'Why, yes, darling, yes.' 



'The War Is a-Raging.' From Miss Jewell Robbins (afterwards Mrs. 
C. P. Perdue), Pekin, Montgomery county, sometime in the period 
1921-24. 

1 'The war is a-raging. 

And, Johnnie, you must fight. 
I long to be with you 
From morning to night. 
From morning till night 
Is what grieves my heart so. 
Won't you let me go with you ?' 
'Oh, no, my love, no, 

2 'You'd be out on picket 
Some cold winter day. 
Your red rosy cheeks 
Would soon fade away. 
Would soon fade away 

Is what grieves my heart so.' 
'Won't you let me go with you ?' 
'Oh, no, my love, no.' 



'War Is Now Raging and Johnny He Must Fight.' From Thomas Smith, 
Zionville, Watauga county, with the notation: "Sung by Jack Combs (in 
Virginia) in January, 1914. Jack Combs is 59 years old. His father, 
John Combs, came from Iredell county to Watauga over 60 years ago. 
John Combs married Amanda McBride. The McBrides, who are Scotch- 
Irish, were among our first settlers. The above songs were sung by 
many people, Jack says, when he was a boy." 

1 War is now raging and Johnny he must fight. 

I want to be with him from morning till night. 
I want to be with him, it grieves my heart so. 
'Won't you let me go with you?' 'No, my love, no.' 

2 'Oh, Johnny, I think you are unkind. 

I love you much better than all other mankind. 

You'll carry sweet music wherever you go. 

Won't you let me go [with you?'] 'Oh, no, my love, no.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 319 

lOI 

Charming Nancy 

Separated from 'Jack Munroe' only because here the girl does not 
actually go to sea with her lover but only threatens to do so; she 
stays on land, and sees her lover swept off the ship's deck and 
drowned. Previously reported from North Carolina (FSRA 68-9). 

A 

Tarewell, Charming Nancy.' Reported by L. W. Anderson of Nag's 
Head as collected by Delma Haywood from Mrs. Sallie Meekins of 
Cohngton (Albemarle Sound). 

I 'Farewell, charming Nancy, 
Since I must go and leave you ; 
My cost of East Indies 
This morning must steer. ^ 
And don't let the long voyage 
Be any uneasiness to you. 
And don't let these land boys 
Disturb your sweet mind.' 

2 'Just like some little sea boy. 
Love, I'll dress and go with you; 
Love, I'll be ready 

Your topsails to hand.' 
'Your lily-white fingers 
Our topsails can't handle, 
Your snowy white feet 
On our topmast can't stand ; 
And the cold stormy winds, love, 
You never can endure them. 
Stay at home, charming Nancy, 
While you're safe on the land.' 

3 While Nancy was walking 
All down by the harbor 
The ship was out 

Some way from the shore. 
The ship she misstayed 
And the boom tossed him over. 
She died at the sight 
And enjoyed him no more. 



'Charming Nancy.' Sung by Mrs. Charles K. Tillett of Wanchese, 
Roanoke Island, in December 1922. With the tune. 

^The reading of B here, "It's to the East Indies my course I must 
steer," is presumably correct. 



320 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 'Farewell, charming Nancy, since I must go and leave you. 
It's to the East Indies my course I must steer. 

If you will prove roal, love, I will prove stonance,^ 
And we will be married if there ['s] nothing to fear. 

2 'Don't let my long voyage be any uneasement to you, 
Nor let these land boys disturb your sweet mind ; 
For when I am sailing on the salt briny ocean 

I'll think of purty Nancy whom I left far behind.' 

3 'Like some little sailor I'll dress and go with you ; 

In the midest of all danger by your side I will stand ; 
When the wind it is blowing and the ship she is dashing 
It's love, I'll be ready your topsails to hand.' 

4 'Your purty little fingers our tackle can't handle, 
Your snowy white breast to our topmast can't go ; 

These cold stormy winds, love, you cannot endure them ; 
So stay at home, Nancy, and don't leave the shore.' 

5 As she was a-walking by the break of the ocean. 
The ship she was tossed to and fro by the waves. 

The ship she misstayed ; and the boom tossed him over. 
She died at the sight and enjoyed him no more. 

c 

'Charming Nancy.' From the Reverend L. D. Hayman of Elizabeth 
City, Pasquotank county. Nine lines only, the waist-and-fingers dialogue. 



'The Sailor.' Reported by Julian P. Boyd of Alliance. Pamlico county, 
as collected from Clifton McCotter, one of his pupils there. Two 
stanzas only, and these should probably have been assigned to 'Jack 
Munro.' The first of the two is the same as the opening stanza of 
'Jack Munro' A; the second presents a curious confusion, making him 
go to a tailor's shop and dress "in mincereal," presumably a corruption 
of "in men's array" and therefore meaningless when applied to the man. 



102 
A Rich Nobleman's Daughter 

This form of the female sailor story, doubtless a British stall 
ballad originally, seems not hitherto to have come into the collector's 
net. A song from Surrey recorded in JFSS i 185 bears some 
resemblance to it but is by no means the same ballad. 

'A Rich Nobleman's Daughter.' Contributed by Juanita (Mrs. C. K.) 
Tillett of Wanchese, Roanoke Island, in 1933. 

* One guesses that "roal" is for "royal" and this for "loyal," and that 
"stonance" is for "constant." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 321 

1 There was a rich nobleman's (laughter, 
So handsome, as I've been told. 

One day from her drawingroom window 

She spied a young sailor so bold. 

His cheeks they seemed like two roses, 

His hair was black as a jet. 

She waited anil sought his departure, 

Walked down to young William, and said : 

2 'I'm a rich nobleman's daughter, 
Worth thirty-five thousand in gold. 
I'd forsake my old father and mother 
To wed with a young sailor bold.' 
'Advice : stay home, young Caroline ; 
Your parents you are bound to mind. 
In sailors there's no dependence ; 
They leave their true lovers behind.' 

3 'You need not persuade me one minute 
Or try to alter my mind. 

I'll dress in pursuit of my sailor; 
He never shall leave me behind.' 
She dressed like a gallant young sailor, 
Forsalt^ her old parents and gold. 
Three years and a half on the ocean 
She spent with her young sailor bold. 

4 Three time these true lovers were shipwrecked. 
She always proved constant and true. 

Her duty she did as a sailor 
When aloft in her jacket of blue. 

When returning home to old England, 
Caroline and her young sailor true. 
Straight home she went to her parents 
With her jacket and trousers of blue. 

5 'Forgive me, dearest parents, 
And do not deprive me of gold. 
How happy I'll be, contented 

To wed with my young sailor bold.' 
Her parents admired young William, 
Bound down in sweet unity. 
Saying, 'You both live till tomorrow morning. 
Both married together shall be.' 
' Miswritten evidently for "forsook." 



322 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

103 

Little Plowing Boy 

An English ballad not often found in this country but well 
known in England; reported from Lancashire (JFSS vin 269), 
Herefordshire (JFSS iv 308-10), Norfolk (JFSS viii 268, tune 
only), Essex (JFSS 11 146-7), and Sussex (JFSS i 132-3, iv 303-8, 
FSE V lo-ii). It is known also in Ireland (OIFMS 223). It was 
printed as a stall ballad by Fortey and by Pitts. In this country 
it has been found in Virginia (SharpK i 369) and North Carolina 
(FSRA 127), and Mrs. Herrick of California reports it (JAFL 
XVIII 276) 'as a ballad traditional in her family — in Maryland, 
apparently. The texts vary considerably, but there is no reason to 
question that they are all forms of one ballad. Our collection has 
one full text and a fragment. 

A 
'Little Plowing Boy.' Contributed by L. W. Anderson as written down 
by Alva Wise from the singing of Mrs. J. P. Wise of Nag's Head, 
Dare county. Mr. Anderson writes : "Mrs. Wise sang this to me in a 
store at Nag's Head. She cannot read or write, but she has her head 
full of songs, which she has preserved for her own pleasure as well as 
for others. Alva, the writer of these words, is her daughter and is a 
student of mine." 

1 A little plow^ing boy was a-plowing in the field, 
And his horse was standing in the shade. 

He whistled and he sung, it was as he plowed along, 
Until at length he spied a charming maid, maid, maid, 
Until at length he spied a charming maid. 

2 Then he ended his furrow and unto her did say, 
'You are a rich lady of fame. 

If I should gain your love your parents would disapprove , 
They would send me to the wars to be slain, slain, slain, 
They would send me to the wars to be slain.' 

3 And when her parents heard that their only daughter dear 
Was courted by the little plowing boy 

They sent a press gang to press her love away 

And they sent him to the wars to be slain, slain, slain, 

And they sent him to the wars to be slain. 

4 The pocket^ and the pants this maid she did put on 
With her pockets also lined with gold. 

She marched up and down through London. fair town 
And she marched through the showers of hail, hail, hail, 
And she marched through the showers of hail. 

5 When the captain saw her and unto her did say, 
'Oh, come on aboard, my pretty maid, 

* Miswritten or misheard for "jacket." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 323 

Oh, come on aboard, my pretty charming maid. 
For we're bound to the wars to be slain, slain, slain. 
For we're bound to the wars to be slain.' 

She ran her hand all in her pocket, hauled out her hand 

full of gold. 
Sixteen bright guvees- or more, 
Saying. 'Captain, you're the man,' taking her lover by the 

hand, 
And she kissed him till she reached to the shore, shore, 

shore, 
And she kissed him till she reached to the shore. 

'Now we are on the shore where we have often been before, 
With our hearts full of merriment and joy ; 
The bells may loudly ring, our hearts will sweetly sing, 
For I'm married to my little plowing boy, boy, boy, 
For I'm married to my little plowing boy.' 



'Little Plowing Boy.' The first two stanzas only, obtained by L. W. 
Anderson at Nag's Head from Maxine Tillett, one of his pupils in the 
school there. 

1 The little plowing boy was a-plowing in the field 
And his horse was standing in the shade. 

He whistled and he sang all as he plowed along 
Till at length he spied a coming maid. 

2 He ended up his furrow and unto her did say, 
'You are a rich merchant's daughter of age. 

If your parents were to know I was making love to you 
They would send me to the wars to be slain, slain, slain, 
They would send me to the wars to be slain.' 

104 
The Sailor Boy 

This song was printed by Catnach and Such and probably by 
other ballad printers in England in the last century and is widely 
known and sung. See BSM i86, and add to the references there 
given Maine (MWS 56-9), Virginia (FSV 108-11, 118), North 
Carolina (BMFSB 24-5, SFLQ v 146), Arkansas (OFS i 300), 
Missouri (OFS i 296-300), Ohio (BSO 97-103), Indiana (BSI 
269-70), Illinois (JAFL xl 235-6), and Michigan (BSSM 94, 
blended with 'The Butcher Boy'). Barry listed it among the bal- 
lads in his collection from the North Atlantic States but did not 
print it. Like other items of the folk song of unhappy love its 
content is likely to vary ; with its central images of the girl bidding 

* Presumably this should be "guineas." 



324 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

her father build her a boat and later demanding of the sailors she 
meets news of her sailor boy may be combined motives from 'The 
Butcher Boy,' 'Little Sparrow,' 'The Lass of Roch Royal,' or an 
elaborate preliminary story may be provided as in version L below. 



Oh, Father, Go Build me a Boat.' Contributed by Thomas Smith of 
Zionville, Watauga county, in 191 5 as "written down by Miss Mae Smith, 
Sugar Grove, N. C, from the singing of Mrs. Mary Smith. Part of 
the above song has been sung also by several people living in Watauga." 
Stanza 4 has been taken over from 'The Butcher Boy.' 

1 'Oh, father, go build me a boat, 
That over the ocean I may float,' 
The father built her a boat 
And over the ocean she did float. 

2 She halted two captains as they passed by, 

She halted each captain 

'Say, did you sail with my sailor boy?' 
'No, my dear ; he was killed at the head 

Of Rocky Island as we passed by.' 

3 She fell upon the boat 

I thought that woman's heart was broke. 

4 She called for a stool to sit upon. 
Pen and ink to write it down. 

At the end of every line she dropped a tear, 

At the end of every verse she cried out 'Oh, my dear!' 



'Captain, Captain, Tell me True.' A fragment of only two stanzas re- 
ported by Thomas Smith as sung to him by E. B. Miller of Boone, 
Watauga county, in May 1915. "Mr. Miller heard this song sung dur- 
ing the Civil War by a Mrs. Parsons of Wilkes county." 

1 'Captain, captain, tell me true. 

Did my sweet William sail with you? 

Answer me quick to give me joy. 

There's nary one I'll love but my sweet soldier boy.' 

2 'No, kind lady, he is not here. 

He was killed in the battle, my dear.' 

'Every ship that I pass by 

There I'll inquire for my sweet soldier boy.' 

Mrs. Polly Rayfield of Zionville, who had heard the song sung during 
the Civil War, gave the following lines as belonging to it: 



As I rode upon the main 

I saw three ships a-comin' from Spain. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 325 



'Oh, Captain, Captain, Tell me True.' Junius Davis of Wilmington, 
New Hanover county, reported the following in 191 5. Only one of the 
three stanzas really belongs to 'The Sailor Boy' ; the other two have 
been imported (the second with something of a wrench) from 'The 
Butcher Boy.' 

1 'Oh, captain, captain, tell me true. 
Does my sweet William sail with you?' 
*Oh. no, oh, no, he is not here ; 

He is drownded in some deep, I fear.* 

2 The postboy, he came riding by 
And spied her on a tree so high. 
He took an ax and cut her down, 

And on her breast these words he found : 

3 'Go, dig my grave both long and deep. 
Place a marvil stone at my head and feet 
And on my breast a turkle dove. 

To show to the world that I died for love.' 



'Captain, Oh Captain, Tell me True.' From the manuscript notebook 
of Mrs. Harold Glasscock of Raleigh, lent to Dr. White in 1943. The 
songs in this book Mrs. Glasscock learned from her parents. Her text 
of our song is like C a composite of 'The Sailor Boy' and "The Butcher 
Boy.' The first and the last of its three stanzas are as in C; the inter- 
vening six lines use a different element from 'The Butcher Boy' : 

She wrung her hands and tore her hair 

Like a maiden in despair; 

She called for a chair to sit upon. 

Pen and ink to write it down. 

At the end of every line she dropped a tear, 

At the end of every verse cried 'Oh, my dear!' 



'Sweet Willie.' From the manuscript book of songs of Miss Edith 
Walker of Boone, Watauga county. Four stanzas, in the first of which 
she demands news from the captain and in the second bids her father 
build her a boat. The other two belong to the 'Little Sparrow' tradition : 

3 I wish I were a little bird, 

A darling, darling little bird ; 
Right to Sweet Willie I would fly 
And there I'd lay me down and die. 

4 Girls, oh, girls, you'd better mind ; 
A good true boy is hard to find. 
When you find one that's just and true 
Change not the old one for the new. 



326 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

F 

'Oh, Father, Father, Go Build me a Boat.' Contributed by W. Amos 
Abrams from a student, Mary Bost, at Boone, Watauga county. Three 
stanzas only ; the first two the regular order for a boat and questioning 
of the captain, the third a stanza from 'The Butcher Boy' similar to the 
fourth stanza of A. 

G 

'There is a Town Where I did Dwell.' Secured by Julian P. Boyd 
from Jeannette Tingle, one of his pupils at the Alliance school in Pam- 
lico county. Four stanzas, of which the first two are a modified form 
of the opening of 'The Butcher Boy' and the other two are the regular 
queries of our song, except that she asks, not her father, but the captain 
to build her a ship : 

3 'Oh, captain, captain, tell me true. 
Does my dear sailor boy sail with you ?' 
'No, no, he does not sail with me ; 

I fear he's drowned in the sea.' 

4 'Oh, captain, captain, build me a ship 
That I may sail the ocean wild 

And search each ship that passes by. 
And be a sailor boy till I die.' 

H 
'Sweet Willie.' Contributed by Austin L. Elliott of Randolph county. 
A highly composite text. Of its five stanzas and chorus only stanza 3 
belongs to 'The Sailor Boy.' The chorus is from 'The Blue-Eyed Boy' 
(see volume III) ; the first two stanzas are the familiar question and 
answer from 'The Lass of Roch Royal' ; and the last two, belonging to 
the tradition of 'The Inconstant Lover,' run : 

4 Oh, yonder sits a turtle dove ; 
They say he's blind and cannot see. 
I wish to the Lord it had been me, 
Before little Willie crossed the sea. 

5 Remember well and bear in mind 
That a true friend is hard to find. 
But when you find one that's true 
Change not the older for the new. 



'Susie's Search for Her Lover.' Under this title Mrs. Sutton reports 
a two-line fragment which pretty certainly belongs to 'The Sailor Boy' : 

She saw two ships a-sailin' on the main. 
Two white ships a-comin' from Spain. 

J 
'Oh, Captain, Captain, Tell me True.' Secured by L. W. Anderson from 
Alva Wise, one of his students at Nag's Head, Dare county. This 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 327 

wanders a good deal from the basic form of the song. The first two 
stanzas belong to 'The Sailor Boy,' the rest are an accretion. 

1 'Oh, captain, captain, tell me true, 
Does my sweet Willie sail with you?' 
'Ah no, he does not sail with me. 
For he is over the deep blue sea.' 

2 'Oh, father, father, build me a boat, 
So on the ocean I can float, 

And every ship that I pass by 
I think I hear my Willie cry. 

3 'Oh, gypsy, gypsy, tell me true. 
Please tell me something I can do. 
I'll travel over this whole wide world 
To keep him from another girl. 

4 'He told me that he loved me so. 
But on a voyage he must go ; 

And some day he would return to me 
And then how happy I would be. 

5 'When over the ocean he had roamed 
He'd come drifting back to home. 
He'd fall into my waiting arms 
And I'd be happy with his charms. 

6 'Since first you came into my life 

I often dreamed that I was your wife. 
But you have been untrue to me 
And gone to sail the deep blue sea. 

7 *I see no pleasure without you. 

You know you said what you would do, 
You said a letter you would write, 
That one I pray for every night. 

8 'The days are very dark and blue ; 
I see and dream of only you. 
And pray that you'll return again 
So in my heart there be no pain.' 

K 

'Oh, Captain, Captain, Tell me True.' From the John Burch Blaylock 
Collection. This text is the same as J. 



'The Prentice Boy.' Contributed in 1923 by Mrs. Charles K. Tillett of 
Wanchese, Roanoke Island. Here the story of 'The Sailor Boy' is com- 
bined with or rather added to the stall ballad of 'The Prentice Boy,' 
reported — but without the 'Sailor Boy' element — from Nova Scotia 



328 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

(SENS 304-5) and (with a quite different text but still without the 
element from our song) from Missouri (OFS i 429-31)- In the closmg 
stanzas it drifts into 'The Butcher Boy.' 

1 The prentice boy and he was bound 
To sail the raging seas around ; 

And just before [he be] came twenty-one 

He fell in love with a fine young girl. 

He went to the captain and begun to tell 

About this lady he loved so well : 

'I love her as I do my life, 

And what would I give she was my wife !' 

2 'Oh hush, oh hush, you silly boy. 
You love a girl you'll never enjoy; 
For she has lovers one, two, three, 

And she'll be married before you're free.' 

'Anyhow, I'll go and see ; 

Perhaps that girl will fancy me.' 

He bought fine rings, he bought fine gloves, 

The prentice to enfent^ his love. 

3 She was not ashamed among them all 
To take them from the prentice boy. 
She was not ashamed among them all 
To own she loved the prentice boy. 
The very last time he saw his love 
She was standing on Potomac shore. 
With her bright hair and sparkling eyes 
For him she lives, for him she dies. 

4 'Oh, father, oh, father, go build me a boat 
That on this ocean I may float 

And hailing ships as they pass by, 
Inquiring for my prentice boy.' 
She hadn't been sailing very far 
Before she met a man of war, 
Crying, 'Captain, captain, tell me true. 
Does my sweet Willie sail with you?' 

5 'What color was your Willie's hair. 
What color clothes did your Willie wear?' 
'His hair is light, his clothes are blue, 
And you may know his love is true.' 

'No, gay lady, he's not here. 
But in the deep, I'm a-fear ; 
For as Green Island we passed by 
We lost five men and your sailor boy.' 
* So the manuscript seems to read. Is it for "enchant" ? 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 329 

She wrung her hands and she tore her hair, 
Like a pretty fair maid all in despair. 
Against wild rocks her boat she flung. 
Saying, 'How can I live and my Willie gone? 
Now, captain, bring me a chair and set it down' — 
With pen and ink she wrote it down. 
On every line she dropped a tear. 
And every verse cried, 'Oh, my dear!' 

'Now dig my grave both wide and deep, 

A marble tomb at my head and feet ; 

A turtle dove put on my grave 

To let the world know that I died of love !' 



105 

ScARBORo Sand (Robin Hood Side) 

Sharp (FSE iv 22-4) gives a shortened form of this, three 
stanzas, from Oxfordshire; Ord (Bothy Songs 332-3) says that 
though of English origin it is a favorite song in northeastern Scot- 
land. Elsewhere I have found it reported only from North Caro- 
lina (FSRA 70-1, the same version as ours). The puzzling 'Robin 
Hood Side' (which Chappell prints 'Robin Hood's side') is re- 
placed in Ord's text by 'Robin Hood's Bay,' which is a fishing 
village on the Yorkshire coast. 

'Scarboro Sand.' Contributed by Mrs. Charles K. Tillett of Wanchese, 
Roanoke Island, in 1923. Another copy, with the alternate title given 
above, was supplied in 1920 by P. D. Midgett, Jr., of Wanchese. 

1 There was a fair lady in Scarboro did dwell, 

She was courted by a sailor, whom she loved him full well. 
They were promised to be married when he did return ; 
But mark, a misfortune upon him did frown. 

2 As he was a-sailing all on the salt sea 

A storm there did arise, and unto his great surprise, 
A storm there did arise, and the billows did roar. 
Which driven many a poor seaman upon a lee shore. 

3 As soon as she heard her true lover was dead, 

She run ravin' and distracted, quite out of her head. 
Crying, 'Here's adieu to all pleasures, my joy has all fled, 
My grave shall be instead of a new married bed.' 

4 As she was a-walking on Scarboro Sand, 
Crying and lamenting and wringing her hands. 

Crying, 'O ye cruel billows, w^ash my true love on shore! 
Oh, for his sweet face, I may behold it once more !' 



330 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

5 As she was walking around Robin Hood Side 
She spied a young sailor washed up by the tide ; 

And as she drew nearer to him, in a maze she did stand, 
For she knew it was her own true love by the mark on his 
hand. 

6 Crying, 'Oh, I've found you, my own dearest dear.' 
She hugged and she kissed him a thousand times o'er, 
Saying, 'Now I'm quite willing to lay by your side.' 
And in a few minutes this fair maid she died. 

7 In Robin Hood's Churchyard this couple was laid, 
A large double tombstone placed over their heads. 
Crying, 'Tender-hearted lovers, as you do pass by. 
Oh, weep and lament where this couple does lie.' 

io6 
William Taylor 

This British stall ballad is widely known and sung both in the 
old country and here. See BSM 182, and add to the references 
there given Missouri (OFS i 295-6) and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 
21-2). The story shifts not a little in the various versions recorded; 
most often she shoots her faithless lover and her captain rewards 
her with the command of a ship ; sometimes she leaps overboard 
after the shooting; less often, as in our text, she does not shoot at 
all but drowns herself at the sight of her lover walking with an- 
other lady. But no other text that I know ascribes William's being 
pressed to sea to the contrivance of a rival (such we must sup- 
pose the Samuel of our text to be). 

'William Taylor.' From the collection of Miss E. B. Fish of White 
Rock, Madison county. Sent in 1913 to C. Alphonso Smith, and by him 
to the Brown Collection. 

1 O William was a youthful lovyer. 
Full of youth and wealth and heir, 
And first his love he could discover 
Was on a charming lady fair. 

2 Samuel, knowing of Billy's doings 
Till Billy gained in great success. 
And Samuel swore he'd be Billy's ruin, 
He'd deprive him of all success. 

3 The day was set for to get married, 
And dressed he was, and all ready. 
In the stead of Billy's getting married 
Pressed he was, and sent to sea. 



ALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 33I 



'O must I live on bread and water 
Till his fair face [I] see again?' 
She dressed herself in a sailor's jacket 
And then on sea she did go. 

Her little fingers both slim and slender 
With kitchen fare must all be stained 



6 Out on sea there rose a dreadful screaming, 
And s[he] being one among the rest 

A silver button flew oflf her jacket 

And a sailor spied her snowy white breast. 

7 It's 'O pretty miss, what is the matter, 
O what misfortune's brought you here?' 
'I'm in pursuit of my own true lovyer 
Sailed away the other year.' 

8 'If you're in pursuit of your own true lovyer 
Pray tell to me what is his name?' 

'His name it be one William Taylor ; 
Pressed he was from the Isle of Graham.* 

9 'If his name be William Taylor, 
Very like I know the man. 

If you'll rise up early in the morning 
You'll see him a-walking down the strand.' 

10 She arose early the next morning. 
Just about the break of day ; 

And there she spied her own loved William Taylor 
Come walking with his lady gay. 

11 'If that be my William Taylor,' 
She cried, 'Alas, what shall I do?' 
She wrung her lily-white hands 
And over the bow her body threw. 

12 This lady died for William Taylor; 
The watery main it was her grave. 

The whole ship's crew they tried to save her, 
But all they strived, it was in vain. 

107 
The Silk-Merchant's Daughter 

Originally, no doubt, a product of the stall-ballad press, this has 
become a traditional song. It is reported as such in Scotland 



332 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

(Ord 63-4), and on this side of the water in Newfoundland (BSSN 
57-8), Virginia (SharpK i 384, FSV 53), West Virginia (FSS 
334), Kentucky (SharpK i 383; also in Shearin's Syllabus), North 
Carolina (JAFL xxviii 160-1, SharpK i 383), Florida (FSF 
395-7), Mississippi (JAFL xxix 112, FSM 148-50), Missouri 
(OFS I 222-4), Indiana (BSI 239-42), Michigan (BSSM 176-7), 
and Iowa (MAFLS xxix 21). I do not find it recorded for New 
England. 



'The Silk-Merchant's Daughter.' From the collection of Miss E. B. 
Fish of White Rock, Madison county; sent by Miss Fish to C. Alphonso 
Smith in 1913 and later to the Brown Collection. It is identical, bar- 
ring a very few slight differences which may be due to inaccurate copy- 
ing, with both Perrow's text in JAFL xxviii — which he says is from 
"mountain whites" of North Carolina in a manuscript "given E. N. 
Caldwell" in 1913 — and the A text in SharpK, which was secured at 
Allanstand, North Carolina, in 1916. All three unquestionably repre- 
sent one master text, whether in type or in manuscript does not appear. 

1 There was a rich gentleman, in London did right, 
Had one only^ daughter, her beauty shined bright. 
She loved a porter, and to prevent the day 

Of marriage, they sent this poor young man away. 

2 Oh, now he is gone for to save^ his king. 
It grieves this lady to think of the thing. 

She dressed herself up in rich merchant's shape 
And wandered away her true love for to seek. 

3 As she was a-travelling one day, almost night, 
A couple of Indians appeared in her sight. 

And as they drew nigh her, oh, this they did say : 
'Now we have resolved to take your life away.' 

4 She had nothing by her but a sword to defend. 
These barbarous Indians murder intend. 

But in the contest one of them she did kill. 
Which caused the other for to leave the hill. 

5 As she was a-sailing over the tide, 
She spied a city down by the sea-side ; 

She saw her dear porter a-walking the street, 
She made it her business her true love to meet. 

6 'How do you do, sir? Where do you belong? 
I'm a-hunting a diamond, and I must be gone.' 
He says, 'I'm no sailor, but if you want a man, 
For my passage over I'll do all I can.' 

' Perrow has here "lovely." 

* Both the other texts have "serve." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 333 

7 Then straightway they both went on board. 

Says the captain to the young man, 'What did you do with 

your sword?' 
On account of long travel on him she did gaze : 
'Once by my sword my sweet life I did save.' 

8 Then straightway to London their ship it did steer. 
Such utter destruction to us .did appear. 

It was all out on main sea, to our discontent 

Our ship sprung a leak and to the bottom she went. 

9 There were four and twenty of us, all contained in one boat. 
Our provisions gave out, and our allowance grew short. 
Our provisions gave out, and, death drawing nigh. 

Says the captain, 'Let's draw^ lots for to see who shall die.' 

10 Then down on a paper each man's name was wrote, 
Each man ran his venture, each man had his note. 
Amongst the whole ship's crew this maid's was the least ; 
It was her lot to die for to feed all the rest. 

11 'Now,' says the captain, 'Let's cast lots and see 
Amongst the ship's crew who the butcher will be.' 
It's the hardest of fortune you ever did hear. 
This maid to be killed by the young man her dear. 

12 He called for a basin for to catch the blood, 
While this fair lady a-trembling stood, 

Saying, 'Lord have mercy on me, how my poor heart do 

bleed 
To think I must die hungry men for to feed.' 

13 Then he called for a knife his business to do. 
She says, 'Hold your hand for one minute or two. 
A silk-merchant's daughter in London I be ; 
Pray see what I've come to by loving of thee.' 

14 Then she .showed a ring betwixt them was broke. 
Knowing the ring, with a sigh then he spoke : 

'For the thoughts of your dying my poor heart will burst. 
For the hopes of your long life, love, I will die first.' 

15 Says the captain, 'If you love her, you'll make her amend. 
But the fewest of number will die for a friend ; 

So quicken the business and let it be done.' 

But while they were speaking they all heard a gun. 

16 Says the captain, 'You may now hold your hand, 
We all hear a gun, we are near ship or land.' 

' Both the other texts have "cast." 



334 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

In about half an hour to us did appear 

A ship bound for London, which did our hearts cheer. 

17 It carried us safe over and us safe conveyed ; 

And then they were married, this young man and maid. 

B 

The Silk-Merchant's Daughter.' Secured in 1927 by Julian P. Boyd 
from Jeannette Tingle, one of his pupils in the school at Alliance, Pam- 
lico county. A much reduced version, retaining only the central incident. 

1 The old ship is deep ^aded, 
All ready for sail ; 

And Wednesday it started ; 
And Thursday a gale. 

2 They drew straws between them 
To see who should be slain ; 

And it fell upon this young damsel 
To be killed by her swain. 

3 He stood a while and considered. 
With his heart fit to burst; 

He stood a while and considered, 
And said, 'My love, I'll die first!' 

4 And they sailed on together 
With a fair wind and tide ; 
They sailed to some harbor, 
And he made her his bride. 

108 
Green Beds 

This expression of the sailor's resentment at the greed of land- 
ladies and their "daughters" is widely known, and is by no means 
confined to seagoing folk. See BSM 160, and add to the references 
there given Scotland (Christie i 250-1), Virginia (FSV 159-60), 
Missouri (OFS i 250-3, Hoosier Folklore v 29-30), Ohio (BSO 
95-7), Indiana (BSI 188-92), Michigan (BSSM 91-3), and Wis- 
consin (JAFL Lii 45-6). It is more often called 'Young Johnny,' 
but the more distinctive title seems preferable. In our North Caro- 
lina texts the tavern keeper seems to be rather a man than a 
woman; the pronoun "he" is used in text C, and in the others the 
sex is not indicated. 

A 
'Young Johnny.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton, with the tune, from the 
singing of Myra Barnett, her nurse from King's Creek in the Brushy 
Mountains of Caldwell county, with whom it was a great favorite. Mrs. 
Sutton says she has heard it only in Caldwell county and there only 
from two singers, Myra and another. But, as our other texts show, 
it is known also in Durham, Watauga, and Iredell counties. 



MOSTLY BRITISH 335 



1 'What luck have you, young Johnny, 
What kick have you at sea?' 

'Oh, I have nothing extry 
But what you see on me. 

2 'Since I was in this country 
I've roamed o'er land and sea. 
To^ bring your daughter Polly 
And set her on my knee.' 

3 'My daughter she is absent. 
She ain't been seen today. 

And if she were here, young Johnny, 
She'd cast you fur away. 

4 'Fur she is very rich 
And you are very pore ; 

And if she were here, young Johnny, 
She'd cast you out the door.' 

5 Young Johnny being weary, 
He hung down his head 
And called for a candle 

To light him to bed. 

6 'All my beds is full of strangers 
And 's been fur weeks and more, 
And you must find your lodgin' 
On some furthering shore.' 

7 He first began to draw. 
And then began to hold. 
And out of his pockets 
Pulled handfulls of gold, 

8 'Oh, you're welcome here, young Johnny, 
You're welcome home with me. 

My daughter Polly's 
Been longin' fur thee.' 

9 Down stepped pretty Polly, 
The beautiful miss ; 

She first began to hug him 
And then began to kiss. 

10 'Oh, you're welcome here, young Johnny, 
You're welcome home with me. 
All my father's beds are empty; 
There's lodgin' here for thee.' 
* Should apparently be "Go." 



336 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

II 'When I had no money 
My lodgin' was on sea. 



'Now I have money plenty 
I'll make the tavern roar 
With a bottle of peach brandy 
And an Alabama girl.' 



'What Luck, Young Johnny?' Reported by D. W. Fletcher of Durham 
county, probably about 1915-16, from S. T. Faulkner, who learned it 
"during the Civil[?] War." The text is substantially the same as A, 
but it has the "green beds." The last three stanzas run : 

6 'Now you're welcome here, young Johnny, 
You're welcome here to stay. 

My green beds are all empty 

And nothing and nothing for to pay.' 

7 'Before I'd lie on your green beds 
I'd lie out in the street; 

For when I had no money 
My lodging was to seek. 

8 'But now I've plenty of money 
I'll make the tavern ring, 
With a bottle of French brandy 
And a glass of good old gin.' 

c 

'Young Johnny.' Contributed by Thomas Smith of Zionville. Watauga 
county, with the note: "Sung in 1899 by R. G. Vanney, also in 1915 by 
Bennett Smith. The last named singer says he heard it sung over 40 
years ago by some women of the name of Watson, also by a Mr. 
Church." It is a somewhat abbreviated text (T. S. notes that "there 
are some other verses which have been forgotten"), but does not other- 
wise difTer significantly from A, 

D 
'Young Johnny.' Contributed by James York of Olin, Iredell county, 
in 1939. A fairly full text, 11^ stanzas, with only minor variations 
from A. The first two stanzas and the last four run : 

1 Young Johnny's been to Earlham, 
Young Johnny's been to shore, 
Young Johnny's been to Earlham ; 
He's been there before. 

2 'Come hasten home, young Johnny, 
Come hasten home from sea; 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 237 

Last night my daughter Polly 
Was dreaming of thee.' 

9 Pretty Polly she came tripping {or twinkling ^ 
Down the winding stair : 
'What news do you bring, young Johnny, 
What news do you bring for me ?' 

10 Saying, 'You're welcome home, young Johnny, 
You're welcome home from sea. 

The green beds are waiting 
For you and for me.' 

11 'Before I'll lay in your beds 
I'll lie in some street; 

For when I had no money 
No lodging could I meet. 

12 'And now I've got the money 
I'll make the taverns roar ; 
The bottles and the glasses 
I'll dash against the door.' 



'Young Johnny.' One of the songs collected by Professors W. Amos 
Abrams and Gratis D. Williams in 1945 from the singing of Pat Frye 
of East Bend, Yadkin county — concerning whom see the headnote to 
'Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight' G. Since it presents some striking 
instances of mishearing or misunderstanding oral tradition it is given 
here verbatim ct literatim (but not piinctatim ; the pointing is the 
editor's). 

1 I have been to Easton, 
I have been to shore, 

I have been to London 
Where I have been before. 

2 'What luck, what luck, Young Johnny? 
What luck did you have on sea?' 
'Very endeferent,' 

Young Johnny says to me. 

3 'Call up your daughter Polly 
And place her down Lo me ; 
We will get married 

And dround all cholerie.' 

4 'My daughter has exemption 
And she ain't been seen today. 
She has got married 

Since you went away.' 



338 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

5 He helt down his head 
And he looked very sad. 
He called for a candle 
To light him to bed. 

6 'My beds are full of strangers 
And there ain't no room for you. 
You'd better seek your lodging 
On some other shore.' 

7 He held up his head 

And he looked around the wall, 
And loudly for a wrecked it^ 
Young John began to bawl. 

8 Was thirty years a young man 
And forty years an old.^ 
Young John he pulled out 
His two hands full of gold. 

9 Down run the daughter Polly 
And stared him in the face 

And throwed her arms around him 
And him she did embrace. 

10 'You're welcome here, Young Johnny, 
You're welcome here to stay. 

My grand beds are empty ; 
No money for to pay.' 

1 1 'Before I lay on your grand beds 
I'll lay out in the street; 

For when I had no money 
My lodging I do seek. 

12 'But now I have money aplenty 
I'll make this tavern ring 
With glasses good old brandy 
And bottles of good old gin. 

13 'Come all you jolly sea boys 
That plows the ridging rows, 
That gathers up your money 
And colds stands of snow. 

14 'Oh, when you get your money 
God lay it up in store ; 

' Read "his reckoning"— the bill. _ 

* The reading of Missouri A gives an indication of what is meant here: 

Here's fifty guineas of the new 

And forty of the old. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 339 

Without companion 
You turned out of door.' 

109 
Poor Jack 

This English stall ballad, better known as 'Jack Tar' or 'The 
Saucy Sailor Boy,' has been reported as traditional song from Sur- 
rey, Sussex, and Oxfordshire (JFSS iv 342-3) but not often in 
America: from Vermont (VFSB 151-2), West Virginia (FSS 
389), and Florida (FSF 37^-^). In theme it is akin to 'Green 
Beds.' 

A 
'Poor Jack.' Secured from J. B. Midgett ot Wanchese, Roanoke Island, 
probably in 1922. 

1 I am poor Jack. I am right from sea, 
And lucky is my portion. 

I've got gold and silver too ; 

A long time I've plowed the ocean, 

2 I come on shore to see my love. 
To see if she would marry me. 

'Say, pretty pretty Nancy, will you, yes or no, 
Will you wed with a tarry sailor?' 

3 *Oh, no, oh, no !' all in a frown, 

'For I can get a man of high renown.^ 
I can get a man of high renown ;^ 
Do you think I'd wed with a sailor?' 

4 He run his hands all in his purse 

And hauled them out full of glittering gold. 
'Say, pretty Nancy, will you, yes or no. 
Will you wed with a tarry sailor ?' 

5 'Oh, yes, oh, yes !' all in a smile, 
'For I've been joking all the while, 
I've been joking all the while. 

To be sure I'll wed with a sailor.' 

6 'If you've been joking, I've been just. 
I see it's the gold that you like best, 

I see it's the gold that you like best. 
You'll never wed with this sailor.' 

7 Now I'll set up some public line. 
The gold and silver it will shine, 
Cause pretty Nancy to weep and mourn 
To think she had slighted a sailor. 

* The manuscript has "higher noun." Perhaps "higher renown'" would 
be a better interpretation. 



340 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



Sailors' Song.* Secured in 1927 by Julian P. Boyd from B. D. Banks, 
one of his pupils in the school at Alliance, Pamlico county. This is 
somewhat closer than A to the original stall print. 

1 'Come, my loved one ! Come, my dear one ! 
Come, my dearest, unto me ! 

Would you marry a poor sailor boy, 
Who has just returned from sea?' 

2 'You are dirty, love, you are ragged, love, 
And your clothes they smell of tar. 

So begone, you saucy sailor boy, 
So begone, you old Jack Tar !' 

3 'If I'm dirty, love, if I'm ragged, love, 
And my clothes they smell of tar, 

I have silver in my pockets, love, 
And a gold-bright shining star ! 

4 'Then I'll cross those wide blue ocean waves, 
Where the meadows are so green. 

And there I'll find a pretty girl 
And she shall wear this ring.' 

5 Soon as she heard these fatal words 
Down on her knees she fell, 

Saying, 'Forgive me, dearest Jack, old boy, 
For I love my sailor boy !' 

no 

Little Mohea 

For theories as to the relation of this American song to the Brit- 
ish stall ballad of 'The Indian Lass,' see BSM 143-4 — ^nd add to 
the references there given Maine (MWS 86), New Jersey (JAFL 
Lii 65-6, a noticeably free-spoken text), Virginia (FSV 41-3), 
Kentucky (FSKH 22-3), Florida (FSF 356-8), the Ozarks (OFS 
I 280-2, and Indiana (BSI 175-80). Mrs. Steely found it in the 
Ebenezer community in Wake county. The name is spelled in vari- 
ous ways. There is little doubt that as sung in America — where it 
is very widely known — it looks back to the days of the whale fishery 
and that the girl is a South Seas islander; the 'lass of Mohea' in 
A and C, and still more the 'Isle of Mohay' in D and 'the Island 
Mohee' in I, point pretty definitely to Maui in what used to be 
called the Sandwich Islands. The various texts are so much alike 
that only one of them (D) is printed here. There are twelve texts 
in the Collection : 

A 'The Little Mohee.' Contributed by Thomas Smith of Zionville, 
Watauga county, from the singing of Miss Mae Smith. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 34I 

B "The Lassie Mohee.' From Mamie Mansfield of the Fowler school 
district, Durham county, 1922. Three stanzas only. 

C 'The Little Mohee.' From Mrs. Sutton, who remarks that "it is a 
very general favorite among the mountaineers." 

D 'The Lass of Mohay.' From Mrs. Charles K. Tillctt of Wanchese, 
Roanoke Island, March, 1923. 

E 'One Morning in May.' Contributed by Julian P. Boyd as collected 
from Mary Price, a pupil in the school at Alliance, Pamlico county, in 
1927. 

F 'Indian Mohee.' Another text sent in by Mr. Boyd. 

G 'The Little Mohea.' Contributed by W. Amos Abrams from Boone in 
1935 or 1936. 

H 'The Pretty Mohea.' From a manuscript book of songs belonging to 
Miss Lura Wagoner of Vox, Alleghany county. 

I 'The Little Mohee.' Contributed by Otis Kuykendall of Asheville in 
1939- 

J 'The Little Mawhee.' Contributed by Obadiah Johnson of Crossnore, 
Avery county. 

K 'Island Mohee.' Contributed by O. L. Coffey of Shull's xMills, Wa- 
tauga county, in 1939. 

L 'Little Mohee.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. 

D 

1 As I went out walking for pleasure one day, 
In the sweetly creation^ to while time away, 
As I set amusing myself in the grass 

Oh, who should I spy but a fair Indian lass. 

2 She sat down beside me and taking my hand 

Said, 'I think you're a stranger and in a strange land. 
But if you'll follow me you're welcome to come 
And dwell in the cottage which I call my own.' 

3 The sun was fast sinking all in the salt sea 
When together I wandered with my pretty Mohay. 
Together we wandered, together we roamed, 

Till we come to the cut^ in the cocoanut grove. 

4 And this kind expression she made unto me : 
'If you'll consent, sir. to ?tay here with me 
And go no more roving all o'er the salt sea, 

I'll teach you the language of the Isle of Mohay.' 

5 *Oh, no, my kind lady, this never can be, 
For I've a true love in my own countrie, 

* Read "In sweet recreation." 

• Miswritten (or misheard) for "cot." 



342 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

And I'll not forsake her; for I know she loves me 
And her heart is more true than the Lass of Mohay.* 

6 Was early one morning, one morning in May, 
My heart it does pain me words I did say. 

'It's farewell, my darling, and farewell, my dear ; 
Ship's sails are spreaded, and homeward I steer.' 

7 The last time I saw her she stood on the sand 
And as my boat passed her she waved me her hand. 
Saying, 'When you landed with the girl that you love, 
Think of pretty Mohay in the cocoanut grove.' 

8 When I had landed on my own native shore 

With friends and relatives gathered around me once more, 
I looked all around me but none could I see 
That was fit to compare with my Lass of Mohay. 

9 So I'll turn my course backward far o'er the salt sea 
And I'll spend all my day with my pretty Mohay .^ 

III 
The Faithful Sailor Boy 

The word "faithful" is added in the tide to distinguish this song 
from the more widely known song given on pp. 323-9. The pres- 
ent song has already been reported from North Carolina (FSRA 
59), and is possibly, not probably, 'The Sailor Boy' of Shearin's 
Syllabus. It appears four time in our collection, but the texts 
agree so closely that it will be sufficient to print one of them. 

A 
'The Sailor Boy.' Contributed by P. D. Midgett, Jr., of Wanchese, 
Roanoke Island, in May, 1920. The first chorus is repeated after the 
second stanza. 

I 'Twas on a dark and stormy night. 
The snow lay on the ground. 
A sailor boy stood on the deck ; 
The ship was outward bound. 
His sweetheart, standing by his side, 
Shed many a bitter tear. 
At last he pressed her to his heart 
And whispered in her ear : 

Chorus: 

Farewell, farewell, my own true love ; 
This parting gives me pain. 

• Most versions end with a more definite motivation of his return to 
Mohea; he finds his girl at home unfaithful to him. 



ALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 343 



You'll be my own, my guiding star 
Until I return again. 
My thought shall be of you, my love, 
While storms are raging high. 
So fare you well ! Remember me, 
Your faithful sailor boy. 

'Twas in a gale that ship set -sail. 

The girl still standing by. 

She watched the ship clear out of sight 

While tears bedimmed her eyes ; 

She prayed to God in heaven above 

To guide him on his way. 

The parting words her lover spoke 

Re-echoed down the bay : 

'Twas sad to see that ship return 

Without that sailor boy, 

He had died while out at sea ; 

The flags were half-mast high. 

The comrades, when they came on shore, 

They told her he was dead ; 

The letter that they gave to her 

The last line sadly read : 

Chorus: 

Farewell, farewell, my own true love. 

We'll meet on earth no more, 

But we will meet in heaven above 

On that celestial shore. 

Up in that land, that glorious land, 

That land of peace and joy, 

Where you'll no more be parted from 

Your faithful sailor boy. 



'The Sailor Boy.' Obtained by L. W. Anderson of Nag's Head from 
Maxine Tillett, one of his pupils in the school there. The text is the 
same as A. 

C 

'The Sailor Boy.' Obtained by Mr. Anderson from another of his 
pupils at Nag's Head, Alva Wise. Text as in A and B except that it 
lacks the last stanza and the final chorus. 



'The Sailor Boy.' Reported by the Reverend L. D. Hayman (student 
at Trinity College about 1913) from Dare and Currituck counties, with 
the notation that it is current in the Banks section (between the ocean 
and the inland waters), "very popular with sailors, especially young 



344 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

men." Text as in A except that it lacks the second chorus, and the 
first two lines of stanza 2 run : 

The sailor boy stood on the deck. 
The girl stood on the dock. 

112 

The Sailor's Bride 

So titled in NGMS 233-4, where Barry reports a text and tune 
from Vermont. Cox found it also in West Virginia (FSS 364-5), 
Randolph in Missouri (OFS iv 268-9), Miss Eddy in Ohio (BSO 
104-6), and Chapped in North Carolina (FSRA 57). An Indiana 
text is given in Hoosier Folklore v 21-2. Barry says it "was first 
printed, without music, by H. De Marsan, on a broadside, at some 
time between i860 and 1878," and adds that texts and airs, as yet 
unpublished, are known in Maine. It is similar in content to, but 
not the same as, 'The Lover's Lament for Her Sailor," for which 
see BSM 167-8 and OFS i 341-3. 

A 

'My Soldier Boy.' Reported by I. G. Greer of Boone, Watauga county, 
as obtained in 191 5 from Ella Harden in a manuscript bearing the nota- 
tion "Mr. C. S. Wagner, July Qth, 1879." Mr. Greer furnished also 
another text (provenience not indicated), the chief variants of which are 
here given in footnotes. 

1 Early in the spring when I was young 

The flowers were in bloom, the birds they sung, 
Not a soul was happier than I 
When my sweet soldier boy was by. 

2 The morning that was misting by, 

The daylight shone through the eastern sky ; 
My soldier boy and I his bride 
Stood weeping by the ocean side. 

3 Three long months past we had been wed. 
But oh, how swiftly the moments fled 
When we were to part at the dawn of day 
And the southern ship bear my soldier away.^ 

4 Three long months passed ; he came no more 
To his weeping bride on the ocean ocean- shore. 
The ship went down in the howling storm 
And the waves rolled over my soldier's form. 

5 My soldier buried beneath the waves, 
Mormons^ weeping over his grave, 

* The last two lines of stanzas 2 and 3 change places in tlie other text. 

* The other text has "eastern." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 345 

The mormons^ in the bottom of the sea 
Weeping of sad tears for me. 

Now my sad story I have told, 
I've told to the young as well as the old. 
But my sad thoughts I never could tell 
When I bid my soldier boy farewell. 

I wish that I was resting too 
Beneath the waves of the ocean blue, 
My soul with God, my body in the sea, 
And the blue waves rolling over me.^ 



"Charlie and Mary. As sung by Mrs. Charles K. Tillett of Wanchese, 
Roanoke Island, in 1922. J. B. Midgett, also of Wanchese, supplied the 
same text e.xcept that his lacks the chorus. The intrusive d in stanza 
4 presumably represents a local pronunciation. 

1 Merry spring when I was young. 

The flowers bloom and the birds did sing; 
There never was a soul so happy as I 
When my sweet sailor boy was nigh. 

Chorus: 

Tal la la la tal la la la tal la la la tal la la 
There never was soul so happy as I 
When my sweet sailor boy was nigh. 

2 Just six months since we were wed. 
And oh, how sweet the moments fled ! 
We were parted at the dawning of day 
And the proud ship bore my love away. 

3 Spring has come, and I am all alone. 

The flowers has blown and the birds has sung. 
The ship went down in the howling of the storm 
And the sea covered up my sailor ['s] form, 

4 Oh, that I was a-sleeping too 

In the purty cabing in the ocean blue, 
My sold in heaven, my body in the sea. 
And the proud waves rolding over me ! 

5 Autumn comes ; it comes no more. 
Weeping birds on a lonely shore. 
Charlie is a-sleeping beneath thy waves. 
And Mary is weeping over his grave. 

* The other text has "maremaids," that is, mermaids, which is right, of 
course. 

* The last two stanzas change places in the other text. 



346 north carolina folklore 

Barney McCoy 

This is reported from Virginia (FSV 124), Missouri (OFS iv 
291-2), Indiana (Wolford 75-6, as a play-party song; SFLQ iv 
202-3), and Michigan (BSSM 477, listed only) and in Miss Pound's 
syllabus and in the list of records of the Archive of American Folk 
Song (from New York and Virginia). It is in Ford's Traditional 
Music of America 337-8. 'Norah Darling' in the Franklin Square 
Song Collection viii 40 is not the same song, despite the title. 
There are three texts in our collection. 

A 
'Barney McCoy.' From the manuscript songbook of Miss Edith Walker 
of Boone, Watauga county. 

1 'I am going far away, Nora darling, 
And leaving such an angel far behind. 
It would break my heart in two, 
Which I fondly gave to you. 

And no other one so loving, kind, and true.' 

Chorus: 

Then come to my arms, Nora darling, 

Bid your friends and old Ireland goodbye. 

For it's happy we would be 

In the dear land of the free. 

Living happy with your Barney McCoy. 

2 'I would like to go with you, Barney darling, 
But the reasons I have told you before. 

It would break my mother's heart 

If from her I had to part 

And go roaming with you, Barney McCoy.' 

3 'I am going far away, Nora darling. 
Just as sure as there's a God that I adore. 
But remember what I say : 

That until the judgment day 

You will never see your Barney any more.' 

4 T would go with you, Barney darling, 

If my mother and the rest of them were there. 

For I know we would be blest 

In the dear land of the west, 

Living happy with my Barney McCoy.' 

5 'I am going far away, Nora darling. 
And the ship is now anchored at the bay. 
And before tomorrow sure 

You will hear the signal gun. 

So be ready ; it will carry me away.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 347 



'Nora Darling.' Contributed by L. W. Anderson of Nag's Head. Re- 
duced to three stanzas and chorus. Stanza i as in A; stanzas 2 and 3 
are made up of parts of stanzas 2-5 of A. 

C 
'Barney McCoy.' From O. L. Coflfey of Shull's Mills, Watauga county, 
in 1936. The text is the same as in A. 

114 
In a Cottage by the Sea 

Randolph, reporting this song from Missouri (OFS iv 160-1), 
says it is the work of C. A. White and was published in Boston in 
i8(58. It is reported also from Indiana (SFLQ iv 182-3) and Illi- 
nois (TSSI 225-6). Ford has it in his Traditional Music of 
America, 334. It is remembered in North Carolina both in the 
mountains and on the sea coast. Mrs.* Steely found it in the 
Ebenezer community in Wake county. Since our versions do not 
dififer significantly it will be sufficient to give one of them. The 
Collection has the following texts : 

A Obtained by L. W. Anderson from Alva Wise, one of his pupils in 
the school at Nag's Head on the Banks. 

B Obtained by Anderson from another pupil there, Lizzie Hines, who 
had it from an aunt, Mrs. W. T. Perry, at Kitty Hawk. 

C From Mrs. Minnie Church of Heaton, Avery county. 

D From Clara Hearne, Pittsboro, Chatham county. 

E From Florence Holton of Durham. Refrain stanza only. 



Just one year ago today, love, 
I became your happy bride, 
Changed a mansion for a cottage 
To dwell by the river side. 
You told me I'd be happy, 
But no happiness I see, 
For tonight I am a widow 
In a cottage by the sea. 

Chorus: 

Alone, alone, by the seaside he left me, 
And no other's bride I'll be. 
For in bridal flowers he decked me 
In a cottage by the sea. 

From my cottage by the seaside 
I can see my mansion home, 
I can see those hills and valleys 
Where with pleasure I have roamed. 



348 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

The last time that I met him 
Oh, how happy then were we ! 
But tonight I am a widow 
In a cottage by the sea. 

3 Oh, my poor and aged father, 
How in sorrow he would fall, 
And my poor and aged mother, 
How in tears her eyes would swell ; 
And my poor and only brother, 
Oh, how he would weep for me 
If he only knew his sister 
Was a widow by the sea ! 

"5 

A Song About a Man-of-War 

This sailor's song was copied into a notebook in 1768 by William 
Lenoir, then a lad of seventeen, later a general in the Revolutionary 
War and president of the board of the University of North Carolina 
when it was founded in 1799 — a distinguished figure in NorUi Caro- 
lina history. One of the counties of the state is named after him. 
The song was sent in by Mrs. Sutton. Mr. Clyde L. Lenoir, the 
General's descendant, wrote to her concerning it: "I carne across a 
few lines of something in an old book of General Lenoir's. I will 
copy them and send them to you. . . . General Lenoir seems to 
have enjoyed writing for the pure joy of seeing how well it looked 
on the page, for this old book is full of quotations and beautiful 
letters and figures." The ballad is evidently of English origin, 
most likely from a broadside or stall print, but the editor has not 
found it recorded elsewhere. Some places in it are not easily con- 
struable, and what "Bandogughn" and "marrender" in stanza 4 
and "shost" in stanza 5 mean the editor has not been able to guess, 
but it seems best to give it as it stands in the manuscript — except 
for the line division and the pointing, which are editorial. 

1 Once I courted a pretty girl, 
A-thinking for to gain her. 

She told me that she would prove true 
When I was spending all my store, 
And all I got I carried to her 
Till I could get no more. 

2 I went to her to get one kiss. 
She didn't it to me deny. 

She said, 'How can you think of this, 
When you're going so far from here? 
Be ruled by me, and, if you think fit. 
Git on board the man of war.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 349 

As I walked along the street 

A captain I chanced to meet. 

'Good morrow, countryman,' said he, 

'I see you are in trouble here. 

Be ruled by me and, if you think fit, 

Git on board a man of war.' 

As we walked along the street 

He seemed very kind. 

He said, 'Young man, you are in love. 

But I'll have you not to mind. 

We will away to the Bandogughn ; 

There's a sign of a marrender. 

Those cups of lips shall make you skip 

Upon a man of war.' 

The very first day I went on board 
The man was to my sorrow ; 
I could not sleep or rest that night 
For thinking of tomorrow. 
They tied my poor tender hands 
With those damnation hickory bands ; 
The shost me while I could not stand 
On board of a man of war. 

The captain ordered us all out 
All on the deck to stand. 
The bosun ordered us all out 
For to answer our demand, 
And by the hair they lug me out 
On board of a man of war. 

The diet they gave me to eat 

It did not me well please ; 

They fed me on their moldy bread. 

Likewise their rotten cheese. 

They made me drink their burgun ; 

I swore it stunk like rue, 

Which made me curse the whole ship's crew 

On board of a man of war. 

I throwed myself out in the deep ; 

I swam unto the land ; 

I traveled up to London town, 

If you may understand. 

And now I've set my foot on shore 

There's never a damned 

Who 

On board of a man of war. 



350 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Il6 

Captain Kidd 

For the history of this pirate song, see Mackenzie's headnote, 
BSSNS 278. It does not often appear as a collector's item, prob- 
ably because it is so generally familiar. It has however been re- 
ported, since Mackenzie's book appeared, from Massachusetts 
(FSONE 131-4), from Florida (FSF 51-2), and from Michigan 
(BSSM 318-19). The traditional texts vary considerably. 

'Captain Kidd.' Obtained by L. W. Anderson from Mildred Harris as 
sung by her father, Silvanius Harris, of Nag's Head, Dare county. 

1 My name is Robert Kidd, 
And God's lav^^s I did forbid. 
I murdered William More, 
Also a thousand more, 

And I sunk them in the gore. 

2 My mate was taken sick and died. 

He begged me to stop to save my hide. 
I stopped in a harbor for two weeks, 
But I went to sea at last. 

3 I had a Bible from my father's great command. 
And I sunk it in the sand. 

For him I did not fear 
As I sail, as I sail. 

4 One morning at the peek of day 
I spied sixteen ships at sea. 

I called my crew together and told them 
There were sixteen ships at sea 
And that was too many for me. 

5 Come all you young and old, 
You are welcome to my gold. 
For this I've lost my soul 
As I sail, as I sail. 

From another informant, Fred Perry of Nag's Head, Mr. Anderson got 
another version of the first stanza, nearer to the customary form: 

My name was Robert Kidd, as I sailed, as I sailed. 

My name was Robert Kidd, as I sailed ; 

So wickedly I did, God's laws I did forbid, as I sailed. 

Another text, reported by J. Frederick Doering, then of Duke Univer- 
sity, as "heard in Toronto, Ontario," is not entered here as not repre- 
senting North Carolina tradition. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 351 

117 

Poor Parker 

Richard Parker, of Exeter, was the leader of the famous mutiny 
in the fleet at the Nore, in the mouth of the Thames, in 1797. He 
was hanged therefor, and his body was recovered later by his 
widow much as related in the ballad. The mutineers were organ- 
ized in a sort of republic governed by a body of "delegates" of 
which Parker was "president," whence he is sometimes called 
"President Parker." Such a career was sure to be balladized. Mase- 
field's A Sailor's Garland has a text entirely different from that 
elsewhere recorded. Ashton's Modern Street Ballads 218-20 has our 
North Carolina version, and a fuller form of the same version has 
been reported from Scotland (Christie 11 102-3). A text from 
Dorset tradition is reported in JFSS viii 188-90, and one from the 
west of England in Baring-Gould's Songs of the West. I have not 
found it reported elsewhere as traditional song except in our North 
Carolina collection. But Miss Gilchrist (JFSS viii 190) says "it 
was common on broadsides after the event." 

'Poor Parker.' Reported by Mrs. R. D. Blacknall of Durham with the 
following note: "Between 1812 and 1820, Miss Jane Girvin, an elderly 
seamstress, spent six or eight weeks annually in my great-grandfather's 
home in Franklin county, plying her needle on the family's wardrobe, 
singing soul fully as she sewed. Into 'Poor Parker' she threw her whole 
soul, ejaculating fervently after each verse, 'A-h-h poor creetur !'" 

1 Ye gods above, protect us widows ! 
With eyes of pity look down on us! 
Help me, help me out of trouble 
And all this sad calamity ! 

Oh, Parker was my lawful husband. 
Though fortune to me has proved unkind ; 
And though poor Parker was hanged for mutiny, 
Worse than him was left behind. 

2 The day that he was to be executed 
(And no relief would they afford), 
The day on which he was to be hang-ed 
They would not let me come on board. 
The boatmen used their best endeavors, 
But over and over and over again 

Still, still they replied, 'You must be denied ! 
So go your way on shore again.' 

3 I thought I saw his hand a-waving 

As much as to say, 'My love, farewell!' 
As on the beach I stood a-trembling; 
And down in a fainting fit I fell. 
And when my senses I did recover 
All in amazement there I stood^ 



352 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

For the waves, they seemed, as they flowed all around me. 
As if they were stained by my husband's blood. 

4 One night, one night when all was silent 
And many a thousand was fast asleep, 
Me and two friends jumped over the wall 
And into the graveyard we did creep. 
And then our hands we made our shovels, 
The dirt from his cofifin we tore away. 

And there we got the corpse of poor Parker, 
And straight to London we hastened away. 

5 Yes, we got the corpse of Poor Parker, 

And straight to London we hastened with speed ; 

There we had him decently buried. 

And a sermon preached over him, indeed ! 

Oh, Parker was my lawful husband. 

Once he was my bosom-friend ; 

But now in heaven his soul is a-shining. 

I hope I shall see my dear Parker again. 

It may be noted that this story of the recovery of the corpse is prob- 
ably true. See the account of Parker in DNB. 

ii8 
High Barbary 

This ballad is described by Frank Shay, Iron Men and Wooden 
Ships, as "an old sea ballad that survives in the home song books." 
Masefield in his ^ Sailor's Garland 293-4 gives a form of it, 'The 
Salcombe Seaman's Flaunt to the Proud Pirate' — clearly the same 
song, though widely different in text from our ballad. Whall's 
Sea Songs and Shanties 78-9 has it in the version known in North 
Carolina. It has not often come into the folksong collector's net : 
Sharp reported it from Somerset JFSS v 262, Barry lists it in his 
syllabus but so far as I know never printed it, Chappell, FSRA 
50-1, gives a version from North Carolina, and Morris, FSF 53-4, 
two from Florida. There is some variation in the names of the 
ships. No ship is named in Masefield's text ; in the other texts the 
second ship is consistently the Prince of Wales, but the first-named 
is the Princess Charlotte in the Somerset text, the Prince of Luther 
in Shay's and Whall's texts, in one of Morris's, and in a fragment 
from North Carolina, the Queen of Russia in the Tillett version 
both as reported by Chappell and as secured by P. D. Midgett, Jr., 
for the Brown Collection. Since the latter text is the same as that 
given in FSRA, it is not repeated here; but a fragment of three 
stanzas, also from Mr. Tillett of Wanchese, as it is slighdy dif- 
ferent, is here appended. 

'High Barbary.' From Charles Tillett of Wanchese, Roanoke Island. 

I There were two lofty ships from old England came, 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY HRITISII 353 

Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we 

One was the Prince of Luther and the other the Prince o] 

Wales, 
Cruising down along the coast of the High Barbary. 

2 'Aloft there, aloft !' our jolly boatswain cries. 
Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we 

'Look ahead, look astern, look aweather and alee, 
Look along down the coast of the High Barbary.' 

3 'Oh, hail her, oh, hail her,' our gallant captain cried. 
Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we 

'Are you a man of war or a privateer?' said he, 
'Cruising down along the coast of the High Barbary ?' 

119 
The Lorena Bold Crew 

This is but a fragment of the song of a fight with a pirate which 
Chappell has already printed in his Folk-Songs of Roanoke and the 
Albemarle, 52-3, twelve stanzas, under the title 'Baxter's Bold 
Crew.' Chappell's source for the song was Charles Tillett of 
Wanchese. Our fragment was secured by L. W. Anderson of Nag's 
Head from Maxine Tillett of that place ; so tliat presumably the 
song is a family tradition. Of the song elsewhere the editor knows 
nothing, nor can he explain the difference in title. The three 
stanzas, though not identical with the opening stanzas of the FSRA 
text, belong clearly to the same tradition. 

1 It was early one morning 
A ship we did spy ; 

Just under her foreyards 
A black flag did fly. 

2 'Lord, Lord,' cries our captain, 
'And it's what shall we do? 

If they be bold pirates 
They'll sure heave us to.' 

3 Up steps our bold mate, boys. 
Saying 'Them we do not fear ; 
We will hoist our main topsail 
And away from them steer.* 

120 

The Sheffield Apprentice 

Frequently printed as a stall ballad and in songbooks in the nine- 
teenth century, this has also become widely known as traditional 
song both in Great Britain and in the United States. See BSM 131. 



354 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

FSRA 140, BSI 274, BSSM 71, SFLQ v 139, FSV 43. It is a 
goodnight with the added interest of a rejected woman's revenge 
and the hero dying for his faithfulness to his love. Our texts all 
derive from the printed ballad, sometimes with curious evidence 
of mishearing or miscopying. 

A 
'Sheffield Apprentice.' From the collection of Miss E. B. Fish of White 
Rock, Madison county; sent to C. Alphonso Smith in 1913 and later to 
the Brown Collection. 

1 When I was brought up in Ireland, to a note of high degree. 
My parents they adored me, no other child but me. 

I raked and rambled over, just as my fancies led ; 

At length I came a prentice boy, my joys they soon all fled. 

2 My mistress and my master, they, didn't treat me well. 
I formed a resolution not long with them to dwell. 
Unbeknown to friends and parents from them I stole away ; 
I steered my course to Dublin — so bitter be that day ! 

3 I hadn't been in Dublin more than weeks two or three 
Before my worthy mistress grew very fond of me. 

'And here's my gold and silver, my horses and free land. 
If you'll consent to marry me, I'm all at your command.' 

4 'It's oh, my worthy mistress, I cannot wed you now, 

For I'm promised to pretty Polly, besides a solemn vow; 
I'm promised to pretty Polly, and bound it with an oath; 
I'm promised to pretty Polly, and I cannot wed you both.' 

5 I stepped out one morning to take the pleasantest air, 
My mistress in the garden, a-viewing sweet flowers there. 
The rings that's on her fingers, as she came passing by, 
She dropped them into my pocket ; and for them I must die. 

6 My mistress swore against me, and she had me brought 
Before the cruel justice to answer for that fault. 

My mistress swore I robbed her, which lodged me into jail ; 
That's been the provocation of my sad overthrow. 

7 Come all you bystanders, don't laugh or frown at me. 
For I have pled 'not guilty,' you all may plainly see. 
Here's adieu to pretty Polly, I died a-loving thee. 



'The Sheffield Apprentice.' Contributed by P. D. Midgett, Jr., of Wan- 
chese, Roanoke Island, in June 1920, as sung by C. K. Tillett. Text for 
the most part the same as in A ; but in this he was brought up in 
Sheffield, not Ireland; he goes to London, not Dublin; and from there 
to Holland with a "handsome grand lady" of that country. The final 
stanza runs : 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 355 

Come all that stand around me my wretched fate to see, 
Don't glory in my downfall ; I pray, come pity me. 
Do believe that I am innocent. I bid you all adieu. 
Farewell to pretty Polly ; I die for love of you. 

c 

'The Shearfield Apprentice Boy.' Secured by L. W. Anderson from 
Mrs. Sally Meekins of Colington, one of the islands in Albemarle Sound. 
Identical with B except for very slight variants and one unintelligible 
expression, where his mistress, on being rebuflfed, "said she would be 
revenged before our wrists were long." What does "wrists" stand for 
here? 



121 

The Rambling Boy 

This British (perhaps Irish) highwayman's song, under various 
names, is well known in England — reported from Sussex, Hampshire, 
Worcestershire, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall — and has been 
found in this country in Virginia (FSV 282-3), Kentucky, Ten- 
nessee, and Missouri ; see BSM 136, and add to the references there 
given the Ozarks (OFS 11 83-5), and Kentucky (FSMEU 215-16). 
Our text differs from those reported from Kentucky and Tennessee 
in that in them he seems to have been set free whereas ours is a 
normal goodnight, and that in them he does not put the blame on 
his wife as he does in our last stanza. In the Missouri text he 
appears not to be married. 

'The Ramblin' Boy.' Secured by Mrs. Sutton (while she was still Maude 
Minish) from the singing of Mrs. Ann Coflfey of the Brushies, Cald- 
well county, of whom Miss Minish notes : "It is very likely that she 
felt some of the significance of the story ; one of her two sons was con- 
demned to death for murder and the other was a deserter from the army 
when I heard her sing it" — which would seem to date the singing some 
time before 191 9. Mrs. Sutton also reported the tune as sung by her 
sister. Miss Pearl Minish. 

I They call me rude, the ramblin' boy, 

Through many bright shores that I've been through. 
Through London City I made my way 
And spent my money in a ball and play. 



I married there a darling wife. 

I loved her dearly as my life, 

I dressed her up so lovely and so gay, 

She caused me to rob the king's highway, 

I robbed them all, I will declare, 
I robbed them on James Island Square, 
I robbed them of ten thousand pound 
One night when I was a-ramblin' around. 



356 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

4 I've got dry goods to carry me through, 
Two bright swords, and a pistol too, 

A pretty fair maid to face my foe 

With a blue silk ribbon and silver and gold. 

5 And now I am condemned to die. 
For me a many a poor girl will cry ; 
But all their tears can't set me free 
Nor save me from the gallows tree. 

6 Mother says she'll weep and mourn, 
Father says he's left alone, 
Sister says she'll meet despair 
With a diamond ring and curly hair. 

7 Come all young men, take warning by this, 
Never to marry a ficety turst.^ 

She'll cause you to rob. to murder and to steal, 
She'll cause you "to hang on the gallows tree. 



122 
My Bonnie Black Bess 

'My Bonnie Black Bess' in John Ashton's Modern Street Ballads 
agrees in three respects with the Blaylock song: (i) Dick Turpin, 
the famous eighteenth-century outlaw, is in both the narrator-owner; 

(2) the "last ride" described in both songs is to the town of York; 

(3) in both songs the gallant mare suffers death, though in Ashton's 
she dies as the result of overstrain. 

The Blaylock song is clearly a traditional version of 'Poor Black 
Bess,' printed by the English ballad publisher Such as a broadside 
(along with 'The Greenwich Pensioner') under a woodcut of Turpin 
on Black Bess. There is a copy of Such's 'Poor Black Bess' in the 
Claude Lovat Eraser collection of ballads and broadsides in the 
Yale University Library. Randolph (OFS 11 152-5) reports it from 
Arkansas. In the Blaylock version stanzas 8 and 9 have been trans- 
posed, and a number of changes due to oral transmission have 
occurred: e.g., "When Argus-eyed Justice did me hotly pursue" 
becomes "When august Justice did me now pursue." 

'My Bonnie Black Bess.* From the John Burch Blaylock Collection, 
concerning which see the headnote to 'Bonny Barbara Allen' B, above. 

I When Fortune, vain goddess, she fled from my bode, 
And friends proved unkindly, I took to the road. 
A-robbing the rich to relieve my distress, 
I brought you to aid me, my bonnie black Bess. 

^ Is "turst" for "twist," English slang equivalent to the American 
"skirt"? "Feist," sometimes spelled "fice," is a contemptuous term for 
a small dog. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 357 

2 No vile whip or spurs did on your side fall, 

No need for to use them, you'd bound at my call. 
For each act of kindness you did me caress ; 
You ever proved faithful, my bonnie black Bess. 

3 When dark sable midnight her mantle had drawn 
O'er the bright scenes of nature, how oft have we gone 
To the famed house of wealth, though an unwelcome guest, 
To the minions of Fortune, my bonnie black Bess. 

4 How silent you stood when the carriage I'd stop, 

And the inmates their gold and bright jewels did drop. 
No poor man we robbed, nor did we oppress 
The widows or orphans, my bonnie black Bess. 

5 When august Justice did me now pursue. 
From London to York like lightning we flew. 

No tall bars could stop you, the river you'd breast. 

And in twelve hours we reached it, my bonnie black Bess. 

6 Now despair gathers o'er me, and dark is my lot. 

For the law doth pursue me through the man that I shot. 
But to save me, poor brute, you did do your best. 
Though worn out and weary, my bonnie black Bess. 

7 Hark, the bloodhounds approach ! No, they never shall have 
A beast like thee — noble, so handsome and brave. 

You must die, my dumb friend, though it does me distress. 
There, I have shot you, my bonnie black Bess. 

8 No one can e'er say that ingratitude dwelt 

In the bosom of Turpin ; 'twas a vice he ne'er felt. 
I shall die like a man and soon be at rest — 
Then farewell forever, my bonnie black Bess. 

9 In years to come, when I'm dead and gone, 
This tale will be handed from father to son. 
Some will take pity, while all will confess 

'Twas through kindness I shot you, my bonnie black Bess. 

123 
The Drummer Boy of Waterloo 
A song popular in Great Britain soon after the event to which 
it refers, often printed in England as a broadside (e.g., one issued 
by Taylor's Song Mart, 93, Brick Lane. Spitalfields). appearing in 
this country in such repositories of popular song as The American 
Songster and The Forget-Me-Not Songster, and reported as tradi- 
tional song from Virginia (FSV 67), West Virginia (FSS 395), 
Missouri (OFS i 338), Ohio (BSO 163-4), and Illinois (JAFL 

LX 217). 



358 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'Drummer Boy of Waterloo.' From an anonymous contributor, in a 
manuscript described by Dr. White thus : "MS in a hand apparently 
of mid- 1 9th century, on old paper, but not that old. No notes of any sort. 
From an old song collection? Together with a typescript on thin paper 
and blue carbon characteristic of group of songs typed for publication 
by F.C.B. about 1916-18." The text corresponds closely to that of the 
Forget-Me-Not Songster except that it lacks four lines preceding the 
last stanza, and has various minor corruptions. I have followed the 
manuscript. 

1 When battle rose each warlike band 
And Carnage loud his trumpet blew 
Young Edwin left his native land 

A drummer boy of Waterloo. 

2 And when lips his mother pressed 
And bid her noble boy adue 

With ringing hands and aching breast 
Behold a march for Waterloo. 

3 He that knew no infant fears 

His knapsack over his shoulder threw 
And cried : 'Dear mother, dry your tears 
Till I return from Waterloo.' 

4 He marched and near the set of sun 
Behold a force of arms subdue 

The flash of death, the murders gun 
Has laid him low at Waterloo. 

5 They placed his head upon his drum 
Beneath the moonlight's mournful hew 
When night was still and battle hum 
They dug his grave at Waterloo. 

124 
Caroline of Edinburgh Town 

Common in songbook and stall print — see JAFL xxxv 363 — this 
ballad has won a place in traditional song. It is reported as such in 
Scotland (Ord 186-7), Nova Scotia (BSSNS 94-5), Vermont 
(NGMS 79-83), Massachusetts (FSONE 183-5), Pennsylvania 
(NPM 206-7), Virginia (FSV 40), West Virginia (FSS 362-3), 
Kentucky (SharpK i 404, a fragment only). North Carolina 
(FSRA 91-2), Mississippi (FSM 143-5), Missouri (OFS i 240-3), 
Ohio (JAFL xxxv 362), Wisconsin (JAFL lii 14-15), in Dean's 
Flying Clotid, and in Miss Pound's Midwestern syllabus. A con- 
siderably altered form of it was entered by William A. Larkin in 
his "album" in Illinois in 1866 (JAFL lx 224-6). Our North 
Carolina texts are fairly close to that in the Forget-Me-Not Song- 
ster, which had a wide circulation in the United States a hundred 
years ago. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 359 

A 

'Caroline of Edinborough Town.' From the manuscript notebook of 
Mrs. Harold Glasscock of Raleigh, lent to Dr. White in December 
1943. Dr. White notes that "most or all of her songs Mrs. Glasscock 
learned from her parents, and she can now sing" most of them. 

1 Come all young men and maidens, and listen to my rhymes. 
I'll tell you of a blooming girl who was scarcely in her 

prime. 
She beat the blushing roses ; adtnired by all around 
Was comely young Caroline of Edinborough Town. 

2 Young Henry was a Hireling.^ A-courting her he came, 
And when her parents came to know they did not like the 

same. 
Young Henry was ofl'ended, and unto her he said,^ 
'Rise up, my dearest Caroline, and with me run away. 

3 'And thence we'll go to London O, and there we'll wed 

with speed, 
And then, my dearest Caroline, have happiness indeed.' 
This maid arose, likewise put on her wedding gown. 
And away went young Caroline of Edinborough Town. 

4 O'er lofty hills and valleys together they did ride.^ 

In time they arrived in London, far from her father's 

home. 
She cries : 'My dearest Henry, pray never on me frown, 
Or you'll break the heart of Caroline of Edinborough 

Town.' 

5 They had not been in London more than half a year 
Before her doting^ Henry, he proved too severe. 

Says Henry: 'I will go to sea; the ships are dropping 

down. 
Go beg your way without delay to Edinborough Town.' 

6 Oppressed with grief, without relief, this maiden she did go 
Into the woods to eat such fruit as on the bushes grow. 
Some strangers they did pity her and some did on her 

frown ; 
Some said : 'What made you run away from Edinborough 
Town?' 

7 Beneath a lofty spreading oak this maid sat down to cry, 
A-watching of the gallant ships as they were passing by. 
She gave three shrieks for Henry, then plunged her body 

down, 
And away went young Caroline of Edinborough Town. 

* So the manuscript; read instead, successively, "Highlander," "did 
say," and "roam," as the rhyme demands. 

* The Forget-Mc-Not Songster has, more appropriately, "hard-hearted." 



360 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

8 A note likewise in her bonnet she left upon the shore 
And in the note with a lock of hair the words 'I am no 

more; 
I'm fast asleep; I'm in the deep; the fishes are watching 

round 
Once comely young Caroline of Edinborough Town.' 

9 Come all ye tender parents, ne'er try to part true love ; 
You're sure to see, in some degree, the ruin it will prove. 
Likewise young men and maidens, ne'er on your lovers 

frown ; 
Think on the fate of Caroline of Edinborough Town. 

Mrs. Glasscock adds "part of another verse that mother knew" : 

The gallant stars may fill the sky or in the waters drown : 
I never will return again to Edinborough Town. 



'Caroline of Eddingburg.' Contributed, with the tune, by P. D. 
Midgett, Jr., of Wanchese, Roanoke Island, in June 1920. The text 
does not differ markedly from that of A. Like A it omits stanza 6 of 
the Forget-Mc-Not Songster text, and for stanzas 7 and 8 of that text 
it has : 

Many a day she passed away in sorrow and despair. 
Her cheeks, though once like roses, had grown to lilies fair. 
She cries, 'Where is my Henry ?' and often does she swoon ; 
'Sad the day I ran away from Eddingburg town.' 

Beneath a lofty spreading oak this damsel sat down to cry, 

Watching of a gallant ship as she was passing by. 

She gave three screams to Henry, and plunged her body 

down; 
And away went the lovely Caroline of Eddingburg town. 



125 

Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch 

This spirited bit of Scottish vituperation was printed in the 1791 
edition of Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs and is to be 
found in some modern song collections, e.g., the Franklin Square 
Song Collection, but seems not to have been accepted as folk song 
by American collectors. Helen K. Johnson in Our Familiar Songs 
and Those Who Made Them says the words are by a Mrs. Grant 
and the tune by the famous Scottish piper Neil Gow. 

'Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch.' Reported by K. P. Lewis as taken down 
in November 1910 from the singing (or recitation?) of Dr. Kemp P 
Battle of Chapel Hill. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 361 

1 Roy's wife of Aldivalloch, 
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch, 
Wat you how she cheated me 

As I came o'er the braes of Balloch? 
She vow'd, she swore she wad be mine, 
She said that she loo'd [me] best of any; 
But oh, the fickle, faithless quean, 
She's ta'en the carl and left her Johnnie! 

2 Roy's wife of Aldivalloch, 
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch, 
Wat you how she treated me 

As I came o'er the braes of Balloch? 

Oh, she was a canty quean 

And weel cou'd she dance the Highland walloch. 

How happy I, had she been mine 

Or I'd [been] Roy of Aldivalloch! 

3 Roy's wife of Aldivalloch, 
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch, 
Wat you how she cheated me 

As I came o'er the braes of Balloch? 
Her hair so fair, her een sae clear, 
Her wee bit mou sae sweet and bonny, 
To me she ever will be dear 
Tho' she's forever left her Johnnie! 

126 

I Wish My Love Was in a Ditch 

This peculiarly forthright denunciation of an unfaithful mistress 
is perhaps part of North Carolina's Scottish inheritance. At any 
rate the song 'I Wish My Love Was in a Mire' in Jamieson's 
Popular Ballads and Songs (1806) i 350 has a like content, though 
not much verbal resemblance.^ I have not found it elsewhere. It 
is not the sort of thing that the ballad press commonly prints. The 
singer is the same who sang 'The Wee Wee Man,' p. 47 above. 

'I Wish My Love Was in a Ditch.' Sung by Mr. Saunders of Salem, 
Forsyth county, who said that his grandfather had known more stanzas 
but that he himself had forgotten them. 

I I wish my love was in a ditch 
Without no clothing to her. 
With nettles up and down her back. 
Because she was not truer. 

* Still further removed from our text is the song of like title in Herd's 
Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs (i 235 of the 1869 reprint), which 
is decidedly "literary" in tone. 



362 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 She kissed me with her red, red lips, 
She swore she would be mine O ; 

But she swore the same to Alan O'Chree, 
Who lives way down the line O. 

3 Her belly grew big, her face grew pale, 
But it was no fault of mine O ; 

It must have been that Alan O'Chree 
Who lives way down the line O. 

4 She swore the brat was mine alone, 
And sQon enough we were wed. 

But I swear by the light of Kincastle Hill 
She shall not share my bed. 



127 
Shule Aroon 

Of this old Jacobite song, still widely known and sung — see BSM 
281 and OFS i 400; also OFS in 209 and FSV 222 — our collection 
shows only the refrain. It is a good deal corrupted from the 
original but is nonetheless recognizable. For the original Gaelic, 
see JAFL xxii 387-8: 

Siubhal, siubhal, siubhal a run, 
Siubhal go sochair, agus siubhal go cun. 
Siubhal go den duras, agus eligh Horn. 
Is go de tu, mo muirnin slan. 

which Barry translates : 

Walk, walk, walk, my love. 
Walk quietly and walk boldly. 
Walk to the door and flee with me ! 
Here's a health to you, my darling ! 

Perhaps it will help the reader to connect this with the Gaelic 
given above to look at the way it sounded years ago to a Missourian : 

Shule, shule, shule-a mac-a-rne, 
Shule-a-mac-a-rac-stack Sally Bobby cue 
Shule-a-mac-a-rac-stack, Sally Bobby Lee 
Come bibble un-a-boose, said Lora. 

No title. Contributed by Miss Louise Watkins of Goldsboro, Wayne 
county, with no explanation except that it is a "song." I have retained 
her spelling. 

Scheel-di-scheel-di scheel I ru 

Sche-li-schackle-i-lack-i 

Schil-i-bal-i-coo 

The first time I saw my il-li-bil-i-bee 

This come bib-ie-lapi slowree. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 363 

128 

William Riley 

This is to be found in Joyce's Old Irish Folk Music and Song 
230-2 and in Christie's Traditional Ballad Airs ii 144-5, where it 
is said to be taken from Will Carleton's IVilly Reilly and His 
Colleen Baum, published in 1855. For its occurrence as traditional 
song in England and America, see BSM 289, and add to the ref- 
erences there given Arkansas (OFS i 419), Michigan (BSSM 
483), and Indiana (BSI 260-1). 

'William Riley.' Reported in 1939 by James York from Iredell county. 

1 It's of a brave young couple 
That I am going to sing, 

Way over high hills and mountains 
Our company to refrain. 

2 His^ father followed after her 
With his vile armied men, 
And so taken was poor Riley 
And his pretty Polly Bann. 

3 Then taken was this lady 
And in her closet bound, 
And taken was poor Riley 
And in cold iron bound. 

4 Just like some thief or murderer 
Chained down unto the ground ; 
It was for nothing else 

But stealing Polly Bann. 

5 Then early the next morning 
The jealous son^ went down, 
Saying, 'Rise up, William Riley, 
And put your clothing on. 

6 'For at the bar of justice 
Your trial you must stand. 
I'm afraid you'll suffer sorely 
For stealing Polly Bann.' 

7 Then up speaks her old father 
With courage very bold : 
'He's robbed me of my money, 
He's robbed me of my gold ; 

* For "his" read "her." 

* For "jealous son" read "jailer's son." 



364 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

8 'Likewise my silver buckles 
And rings with him I've found. 
I'll have the life of Riley 

If it costs ten thousand pounds.' 

9 Then up speaks this young lady, 
With courage, you may see. 
'The fault is not in Riley, 

The blame I lay all in me. 

For I have loved him out of measure 

And he caused my destiny. 

10 'I gave those rings to Riley 
In token of my love. 

But if you have them, Riley, 
Return them back to me.' 
'I will, my loving lady, 
With many thanks to thee.' 

11 'There is one ring among the rest 
I allow yourself to wear. 

It's decked all around with diamonds 
Like unto the morning star. 

12 'And when you wear it, Riley, 
Wear it on your right hand. 

It'll make you think of me, my love, 
When you're in a foreign land.' 

13 Then up speaks the old lawyer Fox: 
'You may let your prisoner go. 
This lady's oath has cleared him, 
And that the jurors know. 

14 'She saved her own true lover, 
Likewise renewed her name.' 
'I'll marry her,' says Riley, 
'And that you all shall see.' 

15 Then up gets William Riley 
All dressed in green so bold. 
His hair hangs over his shoulders 
In glittering locks of gold. 

16 He is quite tall and handsome 
And rare for to be seen. 

He deserves Squire Poleon's daughter 
If she's as fair as any queen. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 365 

129 

Johnny Doyle 

This Irish song is known also in Scotland, England (Sussex, 
JFSS V 142), and rather widely in America: Nova Scotia (BSSNS 
106-7), Vermont (NGMS 248-50), Virginia (SharpK 11 28. FSV 
64), North Carolina (SharpK 11 27-8, SCSM 249-50, JAFL xlvi 
32-3), Georgia (FSSH 162-3), Mississippi (FSM 159-60, FTM 
9), Florida (SFLQ viii 163-4), Arkansas (OFS i 351-2), Mis- 
souri (OFS I 350-1. 353). and Ohio (BSO 187-8); and it is in 
Barry's list for the North Atlantic states and in Shearin's for 
Kentucky. The texts are likely to be somewhat defective or con- 
fused, as is the case with that in the Brown Collection. For 'The 
Faultless Bride,' which tells the same story but is not the same 
ballad, see BSM 165. 

'Johnny Dye.' From the Henneman collection, secured like his other 
North Carolina texts from Mrs. Elizabeth Simpkins of Vanceboro, 
Craven county. In the manuscript it is not divided into stanzas. 

1 Last Friday night 

Me and my true love took a flight. 

2 My waiting maid was standing by, so plainly I did see 
She run to my mama and told upon me. 

3 My mama bundled up my clothes, she bid me be gone. 
So slow and so slow as I bundled up my clothes. 

4 She locked me up in a chamber so high 

Where no one could see me as they were passing by. 

5 My father he gave me five hundred a year, 

A horse, bridle, and saddle for me to ride upon ; 

6 Five loaded horsemen to ride at my side ; 

All for to make me young Sammy More's bride. 

7 We all rode on till we come to the highlands town, 
To young William More's ; and there we all got down. 

8 'You may all see pleasure, but I feel a-tired. 

My poor heart is aching for young Johnny Dye.' 

9 No sooner than the squire he entered at the door, 
Her ear-rings were busted and fell on the floor. 

10 Oh, there is ten pieces, if there be no more. 
'He never shall enjoy me nor call me his own.' 

1 1 She and her eldest brother was about to turn it home ; 
Her mother conducted her into the room. 



366 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 
12 

She hove herself along the bed. 

13 'Oh, mother, dear mother, pray push to the door; 

For your own life's sake don't let in the young Sammy 
More. 

14 'For you all may see a pleasure, but I feel a-tired. 
My poor heart is aching for young Johnny Dye.' 

15 'Oh, daughter, oh, daughter, let's send for young Johnny 

Dye.' 
*No, mother, no, mother, it's not worth your while ; 

16 'For there's more grief at heart than my poor tongue can 

tell. 
My last dying words shall be "Johnny dear, farewell." ' 

130 
Sweet William and Nancy 

This seems to be an elaboration of the song sometimes called 
'Courting Too Slow' (see BSM 196) with the addition of certain 
stanzas from 'Green Grows the Laurel' (see BSM 490). Or per- 
haps it is the earlier form of the 'Courting Too Slow' song. In its 
present form I have not found it elsewhere. Cf. 'Johnny Doyle,' 
just above. 

'Sweet William and Nancy.' Reported by Thomas Smith of Zionville, 
Watauga county, as "recited to me February 6, 1915, by Mrs. Rhoda 
Wilson, Silverstone. She learned it from a singing-school teacher, she 
says, well beyond 50 years ago. She is 65 or thereabouts." Mrs. Daisy 
Jones Couch of Durham also knew the first stanza. 

1 She's neat and she's rare, she's neat to behold, 

And the rings on her fingers is bright glittering gold. 

2 She's neat and she's rare, she's proper, she's tall, 
Her modest behavior doth far exceed all. 

3 I've been well educated in the days of my youth. 

In young women's company very much introduced. 

4 I've been enclosed by my saddened downfall. 

My love she's enclosed by the line of the stone wall. 

5 Green grows the laurel, also grows the rue. 
So loath I am to part with you. 

6 But after next meeting our joys we'll renew. 

So we'll change the green and yellow for the orange or blue. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 367 

7 Though she hadn't been gone but scarcely one half year 
Until he wrote on and said 'Dearest, be here.' 

8 I wrote in my letter for her to be kind 

And send me an answer that I might know her mind. 

9 She was lawfully married when this letter did go, 
And I lost pretty Nancy by courtin' too slow. 

10 Oh, many words were spoken when few are the best; 
He or she that courts leastly are soonest at rest. 

11 Sweet William was taken so sick in the breast, 
Saying, 'I'll die for my love since I can't take no rest.' 

12 When Nancy heard of it it filled her with grief. 
Saying, 'I'll go to him and give him relief.' 

13 When she came nigh his bedside. 

Saying 'Here is one who might have been my bride, 

14 'But she's lawfully married, and I'll die for her sake.' 
She laid her arms around him and felt his heart break. 

15 'Now he's dead, and I hope he's at rest.' 
She fainted away and died on his breast. 

16 Sweet William he died by the bitter grove, 
He left none but small birds to make mourn. 

17 Small birds are singin' and makin' mourn, 
Ofttimes troubled and singin' when I am alone. 

131 

The Irish Girl 

A love-lyric of variable length and content, frequent in ballad 
print and in traditional song-; see BSSN 199 and BSM 292. The 
reduced form in the North Carolina collection is nearest to the 
Missouri texts. 

'As I Walked Out One Morning.' Contributed by Miss Jewell Robbins 
of Pekin, Montgomery county, in 1922. 

1 As I walked out one morning 
All down the river side, 

I cast my eyes around 
And an Irish girl I spied. 

2 So red and rosy was her cheeks 
And so curly was her hair, 

So costly was the jewelry 
That Irish girl did wear. 



368 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 The tears came flowing down her cheeks 
And she began to cry : 

'My true love's in Ireland 
And quietly I'm forsaken !^ 

4 'Then I wish I was in Ireland, 
A-sitting in my chair, 

And in my hand a glass of wine 
And by thy side, my dear. 

5 'I'd call for whiskey, wine, and punch 
And I'd drink before I go; 

I'd cross the deep, deep ocean 
Let the tide be high or low.' 



132 
Pretty Susie, the Pride of Kildare 

This presumably Irish ballad has become folk song of a sort in 
England (JFSS vi 11-12 — Surrey, Sussex, and Somerset; printed 
also by Fortey and Catnach) but has not hitherto been reported 
from America. 'Jennie, the Flower of Kildare,' known in the 
North Woods (Dean 71-2) and in Mississippi (FTM 45), has noth- 
ing in common with it beyond the place name. 

'Pretty Susie.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton as obtained from the wife of 
Silas Buchanan of Horse Creek, Ashe county. "She's a 'doctor woman,' " 
Mrs. Sutton writes, "and the kitchen of their cabin was filled with roots 
drying. She gave me some vile stuff called 'yeller root' to chew for an 
ulcer on my tongue. I expected it to kill me, but instead it cured the 
ulcer !" 

1 When first from sea I landed, I had a roving mind ; 
Undaunted for to ramble far my true love for to find. 
I met pretty Susie, her cheeks were like a rose, 

Her bosom hit was fairer than the lily that blows. 

2 Her keen eyes they glistened like the bright stars of night, 
The robe she was a-wearing it was costly and white. 

Her fair neck was shaded by her long raven hair. 
Her name it was pretty Susie, the pride of Kildare. 

3 A long time I courted her, but I wasted of my store ; 
Her love it turned to hatred because I was poor. 

She said, 'I love another man whose fortune I'll share; 

So get you gone from pretty Susie, the pride of Kildare,* 

4 How my heart was a-aching as I lonely did stray ! 
I met pretty Susie with her young lord so gay, 

* This line should read, as in Missouri B, "And quite forsaken am I." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 369 

And as they passed by me, with my mind full of fear, 
I sighed for pretty Susie, the pride of Kildare. 

Once more on the ocean I resolved for to go ; 
Away to the East with my heart full of woe. 
I beheld many fair ladies with jewels so rare 
But none like pretty Susie, the pride of Kildare. 



133 

I WAS Sitting on a Stile 

Lady Dufferin's 'Lament of the Irish Emigrant' was widely known 
and sung ; it is to be found in various song collections, and Dean 
reports it as sung by his people in the Northwest (The Flying 
Cloud, p. 81). In our collection it is represented only by a single 
stanza. 

'I was Sitting on a Stile.' Reported by Southgate Jones of Durham as 
sung by his grandfather, James Southgate. 

I was sitting on a stile, Mary, 
And we were side by side ; 
It was in the days of long ago 
When first you were my bride. 



134 

1 Left Ireland and Mother because We Were Poor 

This song of the Irish immigrant was sung in the North Woods 
(Dean 1 17-18, a considerably fuller text). I have not found it 
recorded elsewhere. 

'Boy Leaving Home.' Reported by L. W. Anderson : "Collected from 
Lizzie Hines as sung by her aunt, Mrs. W. T. Perry, Kitty Hawk." 

1 There is a dear spot in Ireland 
I long for to see. 

It is my old native birthplace. 
But it's heaven to me. 

2 We hadn't any money, 
But my poor mother dear 
Pressed a kiss on my forehead, 
Bid my heart be [of] good cheer. 

3 How sad is my heart! 
My poor mother is gone. 
I left Ireland and mother 
Because we were poor. 



37© NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Three Leaves of Shamrock 

This is reported from Pennsylvania (NPM 75-6) — where the 
contributor says, under date 1919, that it was "popular in lumber 
and railroad construction camps forty years ago" — and from Vir- 
ginia (FSV 123). It is known in North Carolina both on the coast 
and in the mountains. Our five texts do not dif¥er significantly. 
Three of them were communicated by L. W. Anderson of Nag's 
Head on the coastal bar as reported by pupils in the school there, 
Maxine Tillett, Rhoda Baum, and Lizzie Hines (the last a de- 
fective and somewhat disordered text) ; a fourth is from Miss 
Eugenia Clarke of Gollettsville, Caldwell county; and the fifth is 
from Clayton, place and date not recorded. It will be suffi- 
cient to give Maxine Tillett's text. 

1 When leaving dear old Ireland, in the merry month of 

June, 
The birds were sweetly singing ; all nature seemed in ttine. 
An Irish girl accosted me with a sad tear in her eye, 
And as she spoke these words to me she bitterly did cry. 
'Kind sir, I ask a favor ; oh, grant it to me, please ; 
'Tis not much that I ask of you, but 'twill set my heart at 

ease. 
Take these to my brother Ned, who is far across the sea. 
And don't forget to tell him, sir, that they were sent by 

me.' 

Chorus: 

Three leaves of shamrock, the Irishman's shamrock. 
From his own darling sister ; her blessings too she gave. 
'Take these to my brother, for I have no one other. 
And these are the shamrock from his dear old mother's 
grave.' 

2 'And tell him, since he went away, how bitter was our lot. 
The landlord came one winter day and turned us from our 

cot. 
Our troubles were so many ; our friends so very few. 
And, brother dear, our mother used to often sigh for you: 
"O darling son, come back to me," she often used to say. 
Alas ! one day she sickened, and soon was laid away. 
Her grave I've watered with my tears ; there's where these 

flowers grew. 
And, brother dear, they're all I've got, and them I send to 

you.' 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 37I 

136 

Skew Ball 

Here follow two fragments of the Irish racing ballad 'Skew Ball' 
or 'The Noble Skewball.' Scarborough TNFS 61-4 gives some 
account of its history, an early nineteenth-century English broad- 
side version of it, and several versions from the South. There is 
an early American printing of it: 'The Noble Scuball,' in The 
Songster's Museum, A New and Choice Collection of Popular 
Songs, Selected from the Best Authors (Hartford [Conn.], 1826), 
p. 3. In the South 'Skew Ball' has been more or less dismantled 
and reassembled. For other American texts see, besides Scarbor- 
ough, Lomax ABFS 68-71, Perrow JAFL xxviii 134, Flanders 
et al. NGMS 172-4, Davis FSV 41, 257-8. Both of our fragments 
are reported as Negro songs. 



'Skew Ball.' From Thomas Smith, Zionville, Watauga county, 1915, 
with music "as sung by Mrs. Peggy Perry, whose uncle, Thomas Duty, 
sang it before the Civil War." 

Gentlemen, ladies, and all, 

I'll tell you the tale of my noble 'skew-ball' — 

White mane and tail and cast [or least] on his back. 

A short drummer riding along 

With his hands in the stirrup to keep his head warm. 

From saddle to stirrup I mounted again 

And with my ten toes I tripped over the plain. 



'Stewbald.' From G. B. Caldwell, Monroe, Union county; not dated. 

Stewbald, Stewbald was uh race boss; 

Racehoss of great renown, 

And his record, record was established, 

Established in every town. 

His bridle was made of silver, silver. 

And his harness, harness made of gold, 

And the price of his saddle, saddle remain untold. 

137 

When You and I Were Young, M.\ggie 

This song — the tune by J. A. Butterfield, the words by George W. 
Johnson — is known in Scotland (Ord 159) and among the woods- 
men of the Northwest (Dean 93-4) ; probably much more widely 
than this would indicate, for collectors have not acknowledged it 
as folk song. It is included here, however, because it seems to 
have acquired something like folk currency elsewhere as well as in 



372 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

North Carolina. It appears twice in our collection, but as the two 
texts are practically identical it will be sufficient to give one. 

When You and I Were Young, Maggie.' From the manuscript of Mrs. 
Mary Martin Copley, Route 8, Durham, obtained by Jesse T. Carpenter. 
(The other text comes from O. L. Coflfey of ShuU's Mills, Watauga 
county.) 

1 I wandered today to the hill, Maggie, 
To watch the scene below, 

The creek and the creaking old mill, Maggie, 

As we used to long ago. 

The green grove is gone from the hill, Maggie, 

Where first the daisies sprung. 

The creaking old mill is still, Maggie, 

Since you and I were young. 

Chorus: 

But now we are aged and gray,* Maggie, 
And the trials of life are nearly done; 
Let us sing of the days that are gone, Maggie, 
When you and I were young. 

2 A city so silent and lone, Maggie, 
Where the young and the gay and the best. 
In polished white mansions of stone, Maggie, 
Have each found a place of rest. 

Is built where the birds used to play, Maggie, 
And join in the songs that we sung. 
For we sang as gay as they, Maggie, 
When you and I were young. 

3 They say I am feeble with age, Maggie, 
My steps are less sprightly than then ; 
My face is a well written page, Maggie, 
But time alone was the pen. 

They say we are aged and gray, Maggie, 
As sprays by the white breakers flung. 
But to me you are fair as you were, Maggie, 
When you and I were young, 

138 

The Happy Stranger 

This retains in America approximately the form that it has in 
England, where it is reported from Hampshire (FSE iii 37). In 
this country it is known in West Virginia (FSS 346-7) and Ken- 
tucky (Shearin 25). See also 'The Rebel Soldier, or The Poor 
Stranger,' reported from Virginia and Kentucky (SharpK 11 212- 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 373 

15), though this is the lament of a man, not a woman; and 'The 
Inconstant Lover' (BSM 473). 

'The Happy Stranger.' Communicated in 1923 by Mildred Peterson of 
Bladen county. 

1 As I was walking one morning in the woods 
To hear the bird's whistle and nightingale sing, 
I heard a young damsel making her moan, 
Says, 'I am a stranger and far from my home.' 

2 I stepped up to her and. bending my knee, 
And asked her pardon for making so free : 
'I take pity on you by hearing your moan, 
For I am a stranger and far from my home.' 

139 

Sweet Lily 

This piece is puzzling, partly because the story that seems to lie 
behind it is obscure and partly because it is made up of fragments 
that occur elsewhere in other connections. From Tennessee, Henry 
(JAFL XLii 292-3, FSSH 2-j(i-'j) reports a song that has the "foot 
in the stirrup" stanza and "Willie" instead of "Lily" in the chorus 
but throws no light on the story that seems to be implied in our text ; 
and from North Carolina (JAFL xlv 99-100, FSSH 277) another 
connected therewith but that has nothing to do with our text beyond 
the name "Willie" in the chorus — it drifts away into the song 'I'm 
Going to Georgia.' Perrow (JAFL xxviii 177) reports a song 
from Tennessee that begins with the opening stanza of our text 
but then passes to other matter. A 'Rye Whisky' song from Colo- 
rado (JAFL Liv 38) has the "foot in the stirrup" line. Randolph 
(OFS IV 205) reports two fragments from Missouri. None of 
these throws any light on the story implied in our text. The 
Archive of American Folk Song has a record of 'Sweet Lily' from 
Tennessee and many records of 'Sweet Willie' which may or may 
not be our song. 

'Sweet Lily.' Contributed by Cousor from Bishopville, South 

Carolina — so that this item is not strictly speaking from North Carolina. 
But the regional tradition may not be greatly different. 



My foot's in the stirrup. 
My whip is in my hand, 
I'm going to see sweet Lily 
And marry if I can. 

Chorus: 

Lily, sw^eet Lily, 

So fair, fair to me. 

And oh, oh, Lily, 

If only, sweet Lily, you my wife will be ! 



374 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 I carried Lily riding 
Down by the surging sea 
And there sweet Lily 
Promised to marry me. 

3 So I met sweet Lily at the altar 
On a beautiful summer noon ; 
And there my sweet Lily 
Seemed to have a look forlorn. 

4 It wasn't but a few days later 
A voice said to me — 

And I knew that voice was Lily's — 
'Why did you marry me? 

5 'You've broken your old promise, 
You've been unfair to me.' 

And then my sweet Lily 

Turned as white as white could be. 

6 She worried all the morning 
And wandered by the sea ; 
And then my sweet Lily 
She went away from me. 



140 
Once I Had a Sweetheart 

This song, known also in Tennessee (JAFL xlv 86-7, FSSH 
270-1) and Mississippi (JAFL xxxix 150), tells in its fuller form 
— the Tennessee text has eight stanzas — how her sweetheart was 
persuaded away to the wars and was killed. Our text is incomplete. 

'Once I Had a Sweetheart.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. 

1 Once I had a sweetheart, 

A sweetheart brave and true ; 
His hair was dark and curly, 
His cunning eyes were blue. 

2 I guess he was like all other boys 
Who had a friend in charm, 
And ofif together they would roam 
For pleasure and for fun. 

3 He bought a golden finger ring 
And placed it upon my hand. 
'When this you see remember me. 
When I'm in some foreign land.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 375 

4 He was persuaded, 

For what I do not know ; 

But when he came to say good-bye 

My heart did overflow. 

141 
A False-Hearted Lover 

Akin to this, though not the same, are songs reported from Ken- 
tucky (Archive of American Folk Song under this title) and Ten- 
nessee (SSSA 170, ETWVMB 40). In all of these the boy speaks, 
not the girl. 

'A False-Hearted Lover.' Collected by C. B. Houck from Miss Pearl 
Webb of Pineda, Avery county, in April 1920. 

1 There is more than one, there is more than two, 
There is more pretty boys, my love, than you, 
There is more pretty boys than you. 

2 You've slighted me once, you've slighted me twice. 
You'll never slight me any more, my love. 
You'll never slight me any more. 

3 You slighted me for that other girl ; 
You may take her now and go, my love, 
You may take her now and go. 

4 For the loss of one is the gain of two 

And the choice out of twenty-five more, my love, 
And the choice out of twenty-five more. 

5 I wished to the Lord you had never been born 
Or have died when I was young, my love, 

Or have died when I was young. 

142 
Mama Sent Me to the Spring 

This is a fragment of the song 'Jumbo' reported from Kentucky 
(JAFL XLix 222). The Archive of American Folk Song has 
recordings of it from North Carolina and Virginia. It is prob- 
ably a derivative of the Scottish song 'Whistle o'er the Lave o't,' 
printed in the 1776 edition of Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish 
Songs. 

'Mama Sent Me to the Spring.' Contributed by Miss Florence Coleman 
of Durham in July 1922. 



Mama sent me to the spring, 
Told me not to stay. 
I fell in love with a pretty little boy 
And stayed till Christmas Day. 



376 north carolina folklore 

Annie Lee 

This is known in southern Illinois, or was (TSSI 231-3), is re- 
ported in the Archive of American Folk Song list from New York 
and Tennessee, is known in Missouri (BSM 213-14, OFS iv 288-9). 
Arkansas (OFS iv 289-90), and possibly is the piece listed in 
Shearin's Syllabus (p. 29) as known in Kentucky. Tiiere are two 
texts in the North Carolina collection. 

A 

'Annie Lee.' Contributed by Ethel Brown of Catawba, Catawba county. 

1 I have finished him a letter 
Telling him that he is free. 
And forever from this moment 
He is nothing more to me. 

And my heart feels light and gayer 
Since that deed at last is done. 
I will teach him that when courting 
He can never court but one. 

2 It was twilight in the evening 
When he promised to visit me, 
But of course he is with Annie. 
He may stay for all of me. 

Oh, they say he smiles upon her 
As he courts her by his side. 
And they say that he has promised 
Soon to make her his bride. 

3 I was riding out this morning 
With my cousin by my side ; 
She was telling her intentions 
For to soon become a bride. 

And it seemed that in the twilight 
There is someone coming near 
Can it be ? It is his figure 
As sure as I am here. 

4 Now he's coming in the gateway. 
I will meet him at the door. 

I will tell him that I'll love him 
If he'll court Miss Lee no more. 
'Madame, I received your letter 
Telling me that I am free 
And forever from this moment 
You are nothing more to me. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 377 

'You were chosen for the bride, 
I the groom was to be. 
But I want you to rememl^er 
You are nothing more to me !' 
*Oh, forgive, forgive, forgive me ! 
I repent for all I've done.' 
'To forgive I will no, never ; 
I will choose another one. 

'Goodbye, Addie, goodbye, darling ; 
Happy may you ever be. 
But I hope you will remember 
This all came from jealousy.' 



'Saucy Anna Lee.' Sung by Mrs. Charles K. Tillett of Wanchese, 
Roanoke Island, in December 1922. The text is somewhat disordered 
but is in general similar to A. The conclusion is somewhat less dra- 
matic ; after she sees him coming in the twilight it runs : 

5 Now I almost wish I'd written 
Not to him that he was free ; 
For perhaps it is a story 
That he rode with Anna Lee. 

There, he's coming through the gateway ! 

And I'll meet him at the door 

And I'll tell that I love him 

If he'll court Miss Lee no more. 

6 I regret I wrote the letter 
That told him he was free 
From this hour and forever 
He is ever dear to me. 



144 

Hateful Mary Ann 
Perhaps a vaudeville song, but it has a folksy temper. It has not 
been found elsewhere. 

'Hateful Mary Ann.' Reported by Otis Kuykendall of Asheville in 1939. 
The last two stanzas are in the mouth of the jealous girl ; the first stanza 
appears to be sung by some friend of hers. But I have not used quotation 
marks. 

I Oh, do not fear one moment, 
' Mollie darling ; don't you know 
There never was a hurricane 
Of lightning, hail, and snow? 
And the hardest thing I've heard of 



3/8 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

And the truest friend you know 
He never kept a girl a-waiting 
With a heart Hke yours so true. 

2 Perhaps my WilHe started 
Before the rain began. 

If he did, he'll spend the evening 
With that hateful Mary Ann. 
She lives just three blocks nearer, 
And she'll keep him if she can, 
And it's all for the chilly, driving rain. 

3 Oh, hark ! I hear his footsteps 
A-swinging at the gate. 

It is my Willie darling. 

Why have you come so late? 

You've kept me here waiting 

From sundown until late, 

And it's all for the chilly, driving rain. 



145 

The Girl I Left behind Me 

For some account of the range of this favorite song of soldiers 
and sailors — and others — both in the old country and in America, 
both in print and in oral tradition, see BSM 198; and add to the 
references there given Connecticut (FSONE 79-80, a dance song), 
Virginia (FSV 127-8), North Carolina (FSRA 137-9), the Ozarks 
(OFS I 283-8, III 352-4, the latter as play-party songs), Indiana 
(Wolford 46, play-party), Michigan (BSSM 98-100), Iowa 
(MAFLS XXIX 48), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 35-40, from Ken- 
tucky). Sometimes it is known as 'Peggy Walker,' even (in our 
collection) as 'The Tennessee Girl.' While it is always referable 
to the same original song (least clearly in the Iowa version listed 
above), it is surprising to note its infinite variety in detail. This 
is apparent in the North Carolina texts here given. 

A 
'The Girl I Left Behind.' Secured for L. W. Anderson by Irene Meek- 
ins from Mrs. H. G. Haywood of Colington, Dare county. Date not 
noted. 

I My parents reared me tenderly, they had no child but me. 
My mind was bent on rambling, but with them I could not 

agree. 
Until I became a rover bold; it grieved their hearts full 

sore. 
I left my aged parents that I never shall see any more. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 379 

There was a wealthy gentleman living in that part ; 
He had one only daughter dear, and I had won her heart. 
She was noble-minded, tall, and true, so beautiful and fair, 
With Columbus^ fairest daughters she surely could 
compare. 

I told her my intentions was soon to cross the main. 

I asked her if she would prove true until I returned again. 

She threw her arms around my neck, she. Oh, so gently 

sighed ; 
'Fear not,' said she, 'for, brave youth, my love can never 

die. 

'I had a dream the other night which I cannot believe; 
It's distance breaks the links of love and leaves fair maids 

to grieve.' 
I pressed a kiss upon her lips, I told her, 'Never fear.' 
I vowed by him who rules the sky that I would be sincere. 

According to agreements I went on board my ship 
And to the town of Galveston I made a pleasant trip. 
There I found gold was plentiful and the maidens somewhat 

kind. 
Of course the gold destroyed my love for the girl I left 

behind. 

It was handsome Jenny Wilkins first took me by the hand ; 
Says she, 'I've gold a-plenty, and love, you will find. 
The gold I possess is yours, and I will constant prove ; 
But your parents dear and other friends that you have 

left behind, 
Don't never, if you marry me, bear them into your mind.* 

To this I soon consented, and I owned it to my shame ; 
For how can a man be happy when he knows he is to 

blame ? 
'Tis true I've gold in plenty and my wife is somewhat kind, 
But my pillow is often haunted by the girl I left behind. 

My mother in the winding sheet, my father too appears, 
The girl I love stands by their side to wipe away their 

tears. 
They all died broken-hearted ; but it is now too late ; I find 
That God has seen my cruelty to the girl I left behind. 



The Maid I Left Behind.' From Mrs. Charles K. Tillett of Wanchese, 
Roanoke Island. Fairly close to A, yet with numerous minor differences. 

^ Should probably be "Columbia's." 



380 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 My parents raised me tenderly; they had no child but me. 
And I, being bent on rambling, with them could not agree. 

2 So I became a rover soon, which grieved their hearts full 

sore. 
I left my aged parents I never shall see no more. 

3 There was a wealthy gentleman who lived within this part. 
He had a loving daughter fair, and I had gained her heart. 

4 And she was noble-minded, too, most beautiful and fair, 
And with dumblus^ daughter she surely would compare. 

5 I went unto my true love, I told her my sad tale ; 

With aching hearts and broken sighs we both did weep and 
wail. 

6 I told her my intention was quite soon to cross the main. 
Says I, 'Will you prove faithful, love, till I return again?' 

7 The drops of tears came in her eyes, her bosom held a 

sigh ; 
'Dear you,' said she, 'fear not for me ; my love can never 
die. 

8 'Tho,' said the maid, 'I had a dream, which I cannot 

believe. 
That distance breaks the link of love and leaves the maid 
to grieve.' 

9 I pressed a kiss upon her cheek, saying, 'Love, have no 

fear/ 
And swore by him who rules the skies that I would prove 
sincere. 

10 'Well, go,' said she, 'my prayers shall be for health and 

prosperous winds. 
May heaven grant you safe return to the maid you left 
behind.' 

11 According to the agreement then I got on board the ship 
And to the town of Glasgow first made a pleasant trip. 

12 I found that gold was plenty there, the girls were free and 

kind ; 
My love began to cool a bit for the girl I left behind. 

13 For Rumford's town we next set sail, to" that hospitable 

land 
Where handsome Jinnie came on board and took me by the 
hand. 
* See the corresponding place in A. 



OLDER H A I, I. A U S M S T L Y H K I T I S H 381 

14 Says she, 'I've gold a-plenty, fine houses and rich land. 

If you'll consent to marry me, shall he at your command.' 

15 With her of course I soon agreed, I'll own it in my shame; 
For what man is contented when he knows himself to 

blame ? 

16 'Tis true I've gold a-plenty, my wife is somewhat kind. 
My ])illow haunted every nigJit hy the maid 1 left behind. 

17 My mother is in her winding sheet, my father t()[o| 

appear [s] ; 
The girl 1 loved sets by their side a-kissing of| f | the tears. 

18 With broken hearts they all have died; and now too late 

I find 
That God has seen my cruelty to the girl I left behind. 



No title. Obtained from James York of Olin, Iredell county, in August 
1939. Here the story has changed ; he resists the allurements of the 
new girl with all her gold, and returns to his first love. 

I I asked that girl to remember me as I crossed over the 

plain. 
She said she would remember me till I returned again. 
W^e two shook hands and parted ; for Missouri I was bound. 
I reached that dear old country ; I rambled round and 

round. 



I found money and work a-plenty, the people were all kind. 
But the girl I left behind was the object of my mind. 

3 At length I hired to a merchant. A stranger he was to me. 
He had a loving daughter fell deep in love with me. 

One day when we were talking, she says, 'Young man. 

don't cry ; 
For I have money a-plenty to serve both you and I. 

4 'If you'll consent to marry me and roam this world no 

more, 
Your pockets shall be filled with gold and your silver have 

no end.' 
'I can't consent to marry you, for I would be to blame ; 
For the girl I left behind me would laugh at me for shame.' 

5 One day I was in the city a-standing on the square. 

The mail boy he came riding up while I was standing there. 



382 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

The postmaster handed me a letter which gave me to 

understand 
That the girl I left behind me had married another man. 

6 I threw myself around and around and knew not what to do, 
But I kept reading farther down, and found it was not true. 
Card-playing I'll give over, dram-drinking I'll resign. 
And I'll return back home again to the girl I left behind. 

D 

'Maggie Walker.' Reported by Professor Abrams, Boone, Watauga 
county; he does not say from whom. The story is like that of C except 
that the girl he left behind him does marry another man. The second 
girl is Maggie Walker; the places are different, all being in the United 
States. After he parts from the wealthy farmer's daughter the story 
runs: 

6 Then I became a roamer, strange faces oft to see. 

Till I met Miss Maggie Walker, who fell in love with me. 

7 Said : 'If you'll consent to marry me and say you'll roam 

no more. 
Your pockets shall be lined with silver, and labor you'll 
give o'er.' 

8 'No, Maggie, I can't marry you, for I should be to blame ; 
For all of my connection would look on me with shame. 

9 'For I loved a girl in Tennessee, and she's engaged to ine.' 



10 Oh, when I left Missouri, for the Salt Lake I was bound. 
I got [to] Salt Lake City and viewed the city all around. 

11 Labor and money was plenty and the girls to me proved 

kind, 
But the only object of my heart was the girl I'd left behind. 

12 While roving around one evening down at the public 

square. 
The mail-coach being arriven, I met the driver there. 

13 He handed me a letter which gave me to understand 
That the girl I loved in Tennessee had married another 

man. 

14 I read on down a little further till I found that this was 

true. 
I turned all around and about there and didn't know what 
to do. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 383 

15 My horses I'll turn over, your company I'll resign, 

And I'll rove around from town to town for the girl I left 
behind. 



'The Girl I Left Behind.' Written down by Fannie Grogan for Mrs. 
Julia Grogan of Zionville, Watauga county, in 1922. Essentially the 
same version as D, with some corruptions apparently due to mishearing. 

F 

'The Girl I Left Behind.' From the collection of Miss Edith B. Fish 
of White Rock, Madison county. She sent this text to C. Alphonso 
Smith in 1913. The tune accompanying it is as sung by Miss Fannie 
Grogan, June 22, 1927. Similar to D but with Irish coloring. 

1 When I became a rover it grieved my heart most sore 
To leave my aged parents, to never see them more. 

2 My parents did treat me tenderly; they had no child but 

me; 
But my mind was bent on roving ; with them I couldn't 
agree. 

3 There was a noble gentleman in yonder town drew nigh, 
He had one only daughter ; on her I cast my eye. 

4 She was young and tall and handsome, most beautiful and 

fair; 
There wasn't a girl in that whole town with her I could 
compare. 

5 I told her my intention ; it was to cross the main. 

It's 'Love, will you prove unfaithful till I return again?' 

6 She said she would prove faithful till death did prove 

unkind. 
We kissed, shook hands, and parted ; I left my girl behind. 

7 It's when I left old Ireland, to Scotland I was bound. 
I'll march from Zion to me^ to view the country round. 

8 The girls were fair and plenty there, and all to me proved 

kind, 
But the dearest object of my heart was the girl I left 
behind. 

9 I walked out one evening, all down the George's Square; 
The mailcoach ship had just arose, when the postboy met 

me there. 

* So the manuscript seems to read. The editor has no suggestion to 
offer. 



384 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

10 He handed me a letter, which gave me to understand 
That the girl I left behind me had wedded to another man. 

1 1 I advanced a little further ; I found the news was true. 

I turned myself all round about, I knew not what to do. 

12 I'll serve my trade, I'll give my woe,- bad company I'll 

resign, 
I'll rove around from town to town for the girl I left 
behind. 

G 

'The Tennessee Girl.' This, like the D text, is from Professor Abranis 
at Boone, sent in in October 1937. He does not say from whom he had 
it. The text is a compound ; the first six stanzas are a form of 'The 
Girl I Left Behind Me' that leaves out entirely the episode of the 
second girl ; the last five constitute a version of 'Bill Stafford,' sometimes 
called 'The Arkansas Traveler,' and will be given under that title. 
The first six stanzas run : 

1 My parents treated me tenderly, they had no child but me. 
Since father's been out roving he and I couldn't agree, 
And I left my aged parents, and them I never shall see, 

2 There was a wealthy farmer who lived very close by. 
He had a handsome daughter on whom I cast an eye. 
She was so long and slender, so handsome and so fair, 
There's never been a girl in this wide world with her I 

could compare. 

3 I asked her if it made any dififerenqe if I crossed over the 

plain. 
She says, 'It makes no difiference, if you'll return again.' 
So we shook hands and parted, and I left my girl behind 

4 So when I left old Tennessee, for the Salt Lake City I'se 

bound. 
When I got to the Salt Lake I viewed that city around. 
Labor and money was plentiful, the girls proved to me 

kind; 
But the only object of my heart was the girl I left behind. 

5 So I went out one morning, all on the public square. 
The mail car being just around, I met the driver there. 
He handed me a letter that gave me to understand 

That the girl I left in Tennessee had married another man. 

6 I read on down a little farther to see if it was true. 

I turned all around and about there like I didn't know what 
to do. 
' So the manuscript. I cannot guess the meaning. 



OLDER HALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 385 

I'll turn my mules and wagon, this company I'll resign; 
I'll travel all around from town to town for the girl I left 
behind. 

And then, without any indication of a break, follows 

My name it is Bill Stravage .... 

146 
The Isle of St. Helena 

In our collection there are four variants of a song describing the 
state of Napoleon after his banishment to St. Helena. The song 
has been often printed and is also frequently reported as traditional 
song. See Kittredge's bibliographical note JAFL xxxv 359, and 
Belden, BSM 146 (where the reference to BSSN is wrong; 198-9 
should be 168-9). Chappell, FSRA 186-7, prints a text from 
Charles Tillett, Wanchese, 1933-35, which is close to that recorded 
by either Mr. or Mrs. Charles K. Tillett for Dr. Brown in 1922 
but lacks the two lines in stanza 5 addressed to the parliament of 
England. 



'Napoleon.' With music. "Recorded as 'Napoleon' ... by Mr. or Mrs. 
C. K. Tillett, Wanchese, 12/29/22. Most of Mrs. Tillett's contributions 
were sung into the phonograph Dec. 29, 1922, and texts furnished later 
either by Mrs. Tillett or by J. B. Midgett." See reference to Chappell, 
above. 

1 Bony he has gone from the wars of all fighting. 

He has gone to the place where he never took delight in ; 
And there he may set down and tell the sence^ he has seen 

of, 
For long he does mourn on the Isle of St. Helena. 

2 Eloisa she mourns of her husband departing, 

She dreams when she sleeps and she wakes broken-hearted ; 
Not a friend to console her, even those who might be with 

her, 
For she mourns when she thinks of the Isle of St. Helena. 

3 Now the rude rushing waves all around the shores are 

washing, 
And the great billows' heaves on the wild rocks are dashing. 
He may look to the moon over the great mount Diana 
With his eyes over the waves rolded around St. Helena. 

4 Now no more in St. Cloud's he'll be seen in such splendor, 
Or go on with his crowds like the great Alexander ; 

* The Missouri text has here "scenes," which comes nearer to mak- 
ing sense. 



386 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

For the great king of Rome and the prince of Gahanah^ 
Says they bring their father home from the Isle of St. 
Helena. 

5 Now, you parliaments of England and your Holy Elinance 
To a prisoner of war you may now bid defiance ; 
For his base intruding and his base misdemeanor 
Has caused him to die on the Isle of St. Helena. 



'Bone Part.' ' From Miss Fanny Grogan, Silverstone, Watauga county. 
Not dated. 

1 Bone's gone to the war in the battle he is fighting, 

He has gone to a place where he never took no delight in. 
Oh, there he may sit down and tell all that he has seen of 
While for home he doth weep on the Isle of St. Tellena, 

2 Louise she doth weep, for her husband hath departed. 

She dreams when she sleeps, and she wakes all broken- 
hearted. 

Not a friend to console her, even those who might be with 
her, 

For she weeps when she thinks on the Isle of St. Tellena. 

3 The rude, rushing waves all around the shores are washing, 
And the great Bill of loo, and the wild rocks are bursting. 
He may look to the moon of the great omount taenia, 
With his eyes over the waves that around St. Tellena. 

4 No more at church he'Jl be seen in such splendor, 
Nor again with his crowd, not the great Alexander 



'Napoleon Bonaparte.* Collected by L. W. Anderson from Alva Wise 
of Nag's Head on the Banks. No date given. 

1 Now Bony is gone from the wars of all fighting, 
He's gone to a place where he never took delight in. 

Oh, there he'll sit down to the scene where he's seen her, 
While for Boney he doth warm on the Isle of St. Helena. 

2 No more in St. Cloud's he'll be seen in such splendor. 
Nor gone with his crowd like the great Alexandria ; 

But the great king of Rome and the prince of Gay Hanna 
They will bring their father home from the Isle of St. 
Helena. 

■ The Newfoundland text has here "prince of Guiana," but that does 
not help much. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 387 

3 The wife she doth mourn for her husband's departure, 
She dreams while she sleeps and she wakes broken-hearted, 
Not a soul to console her, even those who might have been 

with her. 
Oh, she mourns when she thinks of the Isle of St. Helena. 

4 The rude rushing waves beat around St. Helena 



'Bonapart's Retreat.' Collected by W. A. Abrams from Mrs. Ira Reese 
of Mabel, Watauga county. No date given. 

1 Bonapart he's gone from the wars of all fighting, 
He's gone to the land where [he] doth take delighting. 
No more in such clouds he'll be seen in such splendor 
Nor going with his crowds and the great Alexander. 

2 Louise doth weep for her husband departed, 

She dreams when she sleeps and wakes broken-hearted. 
There's no friend to contol her, not even those near her ; 



The young king of Rob and the prince of Gemira 
Say they will bring their father home from the Isles of Saint 
Delina 



'npWO groups of ballads — if so they may be called; they are 
-^ sometimes merely monologues with little action indicated — are 
placed here although some of them are very likely not older than the 
nineteenth century and are not certainly British. They may be 
and they may not be; their origin has not been made out. Some 
of them, the editor thinks, are pretty surely of American manu- 
facture. But they are given here because they are not demonstrably 
American as are the songs and ballads given under that label later 
in the present volume. One of these groups deals with the pathos 
of children, especially orphans. Oldest and best known of these, 
and indisputably English, is 'The Babes in the Wood'; others, not 
improbably of American origin, are 'The Poor Little Sailor Boy,' 
'The Orphan Girl, '"and 'The Blind Girl' — who dies when her father 
takes a new wife. The other group is less definite in content, but 
its members are held together by the fact that they are all. in one 
way or another, tales of broken or disappointed love, of lovers 
parting after a quarrel. The type song here is 'Fond Affection,' 
which appears in a great variety of texts, stanzas taken up or 



388 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

dropped or reordered until it is hard to say whether a given text 
is a form of this song or should be entered separately. Others on 
this theme are 'We Have Met and We Have Parted,' 'Broken Ties,' 
'They Were Standing by the Window,' and some fifteen others. 
It is a topic dear to the folk muse. 



147 

The Babes in the Wood 

See Kittredge's bibliographical note JAFL xxxv 349-50 and the 
headnote to this song BSM 106. To the references in the latter add 
Vermont (NGMS 234-8), Virginia (FSV 38), Florida (FSF 
401-7), the Ozarks (OFS i 365-8), Indiana (BSI 313), and Michi- 
gan (BSSM 343-5). It is probably a good deal more widely known 
than collectors' lists would imply; it is so familiar that collectors 
are likely to disregard it. 

'Babes in the Wood.' Reported by Miss Pearl Webb of Pineola, Avery 
county, probably in 1921. 

1 Oh, don't you remember, a long time ago, 

Of two little children, their names I don't know. 
They were stole on the way^ on a bright summer day 
And lost in the woods, I've heard people say. 

2 And when it was night so sad was their plight, 
The moon went down and the stars gave no light. 
They sobbed and they sighed and they bitterly cried ; 
Poor babes in the woods, they lay down and died. 

3 And when they were dead the robins so red 
Brought strawberry leaves and over them spread 
And sang a sweet song the whole day long. 
Poor babes in the woods, they lay down and died. 

148 

The Orphan Girl 

Well known in the southern Appalachians and not unknown in 
the Middle West; see BSM 277, and add to the references there 
given Virginia (FSV 117-18), North Carolina (FSRA 196-7), 
Florida (FSF 119-23), the Ozarks (OFS iv 194-6), Indiana (BSI 
291-7, SFLQ IV 198), and Michigan (BSSM 481, listed but text 
not given). Shearin lists it in his Syllabus for Kentucky. Mrs. 
Steely found it in the Ebenezer community in Wake county. The 
numerous texts in our collection are pretty much alike, the varia- 
tions being due for the most part to imperfect recollection by the 
contributors. Only two are given in full. 

* Miswritten, presumably, for "stolen away." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 389 

A 

'The Orphan Girl.' Contributed by Jesse T. Carpenter of Durham about 
1922. 

1 'No home, no home,' plead a little girl 
At the door of a rich man's hall 

As she trembling stood on the marble steps 
And leaned against the marble wall. 

2 'My father's face I never knew' — 
With tears in eyes so bright — 

'My mother sleeps in a new-made grave; 
I'm an orphan girl tonight. 

3 'My dress is thin, my feet are bare, 
The snow has covered my head. 
Give me a home,' she feebly plead, 
*A home and a bit of bread.' 

4 The night was dark and the snow still fell. 
The rich man closed his door. 

His proud face frowned as he scornfully said 
'No home and no bread for the poor.' 

5 'No home, no home,' said the little girl 
As she strove to wrap her feet. 

Her tender frame all covered with snow, 
Yes, covered in snow and sleet. 

6 The night was dark, and the midnight chimes 
Rang out like a funeral knell. 

The earth seemed wrapped in winding sleet 
And the drifting snow still fell. 

7 The rich man slept on his velvet couch 
And dreamed of his silver and gold. 
While the orphan girl on a bed of snow 
She murmured 'So cold, so cold.' 

8 The morning dawned, and the orphan girl 
Still lay at the rich man's door. 

But her soul had fled to a world above 
Where there's room and bread for the poor. 



'The Orphan Girl.' Obtained by Jesse T. Carpenter from the manuscript 
of Mrs. Mary Martin Copley, Route 8, Durham, apparently in 1923. 
The air was set down by Miss Vivian Blackstock. The text is close 
to A, the chief dififerences being that stanzas 2 and 3 are interchanged 
and that what is now stanza 2 is in the third person : 

Her clothes were thin and her feet were bare, 
But the snow had covered her head. 



390 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

C 

'The Orphan Girl.' From Professor M. G. Fulton of Davidson Col- 
lege, Mecklenburg county, about 191 4- 15. Eight stanzas, some of them 
incomplete. 

D 

'The Orphan Girl.' From Virginia Bowers, Stanly county. Eight 
stanzas ; stanzas 2 and 3 as in B, and stanzas 5, 6, 7 of A become stanzas 
6, 7, 5 in D. There are also numerous minor variations. 

E 
'The Orphan Girl.' From Mrs. Sutton, apparently in 1923 or there- 
abouts. Seven stanzas, corresponding with slight variations to stanzas 
I, 3, 2, 4, 7, 6, 8 of A. Her informant "got this from his mother 
in Buncombe. Myra knows it and Miss Blackstock has heard her old 
nurse sing it." 

F 
'The Orphan Girl.' Contributed by Mrs. Minnie Church of Heaton, 
Avery county, in October 1930. Nine stanzas. 

G 
'The Orphan Girl.' From the manuscript songbook of Miss Lura Wag- 
oner of Vox, set down probably about 1912. Seven stanzas. 

H 
'The Orphan Girl.' Contributed by Beulah Walton of Durham in 1923. 
Seven stanzas. 



'The Orphan Girl.' Secured by L. W. Anderson from Maxine Tillett, 
one of his pupils at Nag's Head. Seven stanzas, corresponding, with 
slight variations, with stanzas i, 3, 2, 6, 5, 8 of A. 

J 
'The Orphan Girl.' Contributed by Macie Morgan of Stanly county. 
Here the story is expanded, especially at the close. 

1 'No home, no home,' said a little girl 
At the door of a princely hall 

As she trembling stood on the marble steps 
And leaned on the polished wall. 

2 Her clothes were thin and her feet were bare, 
And snow covered her head. 

'Give me a home,' she faintly cried, 
'A home and a piece of bread. 



3 'My father, alas, I never knew,' 
And tears did fall so bright. 
'My mother sleeps in a new-made tomb 
'Tis an orphan that begs tonight.' 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 39I 

4 The night was dark and the snow still fell 
When the rich man closed his door, 

And his proud lips curled as he courtly^ said, 
'No room, no bread for the poor.' 

5 'I must freeze,' she said as she sat on the steps 
And strove to cover her feet 

With her old tattered clothes all covered with snow, 
Yes, covered with snow and sleet. 

6 Bright angels came at the midnight storm, 
Yes, came to her relief 

And bore her away on their snowy white wings 
To heaven, her mother to greet. 

7 A golden crown, a snow-white robe 
Was given her then to wear ; 

And the bread of life her soul to eat 
To reward her suffering here. 

8 No more will she beg for the rich man's bread, 
No more will she sleep on the snow ; 

For her soul has gone to that home above. 
Where there's room and bread for the poor. 

9 The rich man arose at the dawn of day, 
And slowly he opened the door 

To find at his feet a frozen girl 
He had left so late before. 

10 As he gazed on the beautiful form at his feet 
And thought of the dreadful sin, 

He whispered low as the tears rolled down, 
'Alas ! it might not have been !' 

1 1 The rich man arose at the dawn of day 
And slowly opened the door. 

'I'm ruined,' he said as he fainted ; 
'Alas ! it's my sister's child.' 

12 A few more years and the rich man died, 
And his soul was carried below. 

And his own little girl, his joy and pride. 
Was begging from door to door. 

13 And now, kind friends, take warning from this 
And never refuse to give ; 

For the Lord above, who gives to all. 
May refuse to let you live. 
* Probably niiswritten for "curtly." 



392 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

K 

'"No Home, No Home," said a Little Girl.' Secured in 1927 by Julian 
P. Boyd from Carlos Holton, one of his pupils at Alliance, Pamlico 
county. Somewhat reduced; five and a half stanzas. 

L 
*The Orphan Child.' From Ruth Efird, Stanly county. Reduced to four 
stanzas ; ends with the little girl murmuring "so cold, so cold." 



' "No Home, No Home," said a Little Girl.' Reported by Thomas 
Smith of Zionville, Watauga county, presumably in 191 5. Only four 
stanzas, with the notation that it "is part of the song only. I heard it 
sung when a child probably 30 or more years ago." 

N 
'The Orphan Girl.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. Eight 
stanzas. 



149 
The Blind Girl 

The authorship of this exercise in pathos has eluded the editor, 
though it is patently from print and is widely known and sung in 
the South and West. See BSM 275, and add Virginia (FSV 
115-16), Indiana (SFLQ iv 191-2), and the Ozarks (OFS iv 191-3). 
There are thirteen copies of it in the North Carolina collection. 
They are closely alike, and yet full of slight variations, due some- 
times to forgetting, sometimes to displacement of parts, and occa- 
sionally to improvisation — all indicative of oral transmission. It 
will be sufficient to print one of the fuller and more correct texts. 

A 'Blind Girl's Prayer.' Contributed by I. G. Greer of Boone, Watauga 
county, with the note "Sung for Miss Hundley and set down June 3, 
1915." With the air. 

B 'The Blind Child.' Set down 5 August 1915, for Thomas Smith by 
Mrs. Anne Smith of Sugar Grove, Watauga county, with the notation 
that "this song used to be popular in our neighborhood." 

C 'The Blind Girl.' From the manuscript songbook of Miss Lura 
Wagoner of Vox, where it was entered probably about 191 2. This con- 
tains, after the first half of the fifth stanza of A, the following lines 
not found in the other texts : 

I know I love you, papa dear; 

But how I long to go 

Where God is light; and I am sure 

There'll be no blind ones there. 

D 'The Blind Child's Prayer.' From Miss Pearl Webb of Pineola, 
Avery county, in 1922. 

E 'The Blind Girl.' Contributed by W. Amos Abrams in 1937, with the 
notation: "My father learned it from his mother, who learned it from 
her mother." Incomplete text; lacks the last half of stanza 4, the 
whole of stanza 5, and the first half of stanza 6 of A. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 393 

F 'Blind Girl's Death.' Secured from Mamie Mansfield of Durham as 
sung by F. Coleman in 1922. With the tune. 

G 'The Blind Girl.' From Ethel Brown of Catawba county. 

H 'The Blind Child's Prayer.' Secured by Julian P. Boyd in 1927 from 
Mary Price of Alliance, Pamlico county. 

I 'The Blind Child's Prayer.' From Ruth Morgan, Stanly county. 

J 'The Blind Child's Prayer.' Contributed by Mrs. Minnie Church of 
Heaton, Avery county, in 1930. 

K 'The Blind Child.' Contributed by Otis Kuykendall of Asheville 
m August 1939. 

L 'The Blind Girl.' Contributed by I. T. Poole of Burke county, with 
the notation: 'This was obtained from Mrs. W. H. Poole, who reports 
that It was popular in Burke county as a community song about twentv- 
nve years ago." •' 

M 'The Blind Girl's Death.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. 

A 

1 'They tell me, father, that tonight 
You're to wed a new-made bride, 
That you will clasp her in your arms 
Where my dear mother died, 

That she will lean her graceful head 
Upon your loving breast, 
Where she who now lies down in death 
In life's best hour did rest. 

2 'They say her name is Mary, too, 
The name my mother bore. 

And, father, is she kind and true 
Like the one you loved before? 
And is her steps as soft and low, 
Her voice as sweet and mild ? 
And, father, will she love me too, 
Your blind and helpless child ? 

3 'Please, father, do not bid me come 
To meet your new-made bride. 

I could not meet her in the room 

Where my dear mother died. 

Her picture hanging on the wall, 

Her books are lying near. 

And there's the harp of her soft, sad tune, 

And there's her vacant chair. 

4 'The chair by which I used to kneel 
To say my evening prayer. 

Oh, pa, it almost breaks my heart — 



394 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

I could not meet her there. 
And when I cry myself to sleep, 
As now I often do, 
Then softly to my chamber creep, 
My new mamma and you, 

5 'And bid her gently press a kiss 
Upon my throbbing brow 

Just as my own dear mother did. 

Oh, pa, you're weeping, now. 

Oh, let me kneel down by your side 

And to our Saviour pray 

That God's right hand may lead you both 

Through life's long weary way.' 

6 The prayer was offered, then a song. 
'I'm weary now,' she said. 

Her father raised her in his arms 

And laid her on the bed. 

And as he turned to leave the room 

One joyful cry was given. 

He turned and caught the last bright smile — 

His blind child was in heaven. 

7 They laid her by her mother's side 
And raised a marble fair. 

On it engraved those simple words : 
'There'll be no blind ones there.' 



150 

Two Little Children 

Similar in temper to 'The Orphan Girl' but not so widely known; 
recorded for Virginia (ETWVMB 32, FSV 1 14-15), and Ten- 
nessee (SSSA 126-7) and known also in Michigan (BSSM 483, 
listed but no text given). Of the four texts in our collection it 
will be sufficient to print one, the fullest of the four. 



'The Orphans.' From the manuscripts of Obadiah Johnson of Cross- 
nore, Avery county, secured in July 1940. "He did not sing it; but we 
have the air as it was sung by Estalena Graybeal." 

1 Two little children, a boy and a girl, 
Sat by an old church door ; 

The little girl's feet were as brown as the curl 
That fell on the dress that she wore. 

2 The boy's coat was faded and hatless his head, 
A tear shone in each little eye. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 395 

'Why don't you run home to your mama,' I said ; 
And this was the maiden's reply : 

3 'Mama's in heaven ; they took her away, 
Left me and Jim alone. 

We come here to sleep at the close of the day, 
For we have no mama at home. 

4 'We can't earn our bread, we're too little,' she said ; 
'Jim is five and I'm only seven. 

We have no one to love us since papa is dead 
And our darling mama's in heaven. 

5 'Papa was lost out to sea long ago. 
We waited all night on the shore. 

For he was a life-saving captain, you know ; 
But he never came back any more, 

6 'Then mama got sick ; angels took her away, 
She said, to a home warm and bright. 

She said they'd come for her darlings some day ; 
Perhaps they are coming tonight. 

7 'Perhaps they have no room in heaven,' she said, 
'For two little darlings to keep.' 

She then placed her hand on Jim's little head ; 
She kissed him ; and both fell asleep. 

8 The sexton came early to ring the church bell. 
He found them beneath the snow white. 

The angels made room for two darlings to dwell 
In heaven with mama that night. 



'The Orphans.' Secured by L. W. Anderson of Nag's Head from Alva 
Wise, one of his pupils there. Same as A except that the last line of 
stanza 6 has somehow dropped out. 



'Two Little Children.' Secured by W. Amos Abrams from Margaret 
Barlowe, student at Appalachian Training School, Boone, who had it 
from a friend. Differs from A in that the third stanza of A is here 
marked "chorus" to be repeated after successive pairs of stanzas and 
that stanzas 4, 5, 6 of A become stanzas 6, 4, 5 in C. 



Two Little Orphans.' Contributed in 1923 by Zilpah Frisbie of Mc- 
Dowell county, with the notation that "there are other verses but I do 
not remember all of them." The same as C except that it has lost the 
penultimate stanza. 



396 north carolina folklore 

The Soldier's Poor Little Boy 

Sometimes called 'The Poor Little Sailor Boy,' and printed as a 
stall ballad both in this country and in England in the nineteenth 
century, this is also known as traditional song on both sides of the 
Atlantic. See BSM 273, and add to the references there given Ken- 
tucky (Shearin's syllabus 29), Arkansas (OFS iv 182-3), Ohio 
(BSO 297-8), Indiana (BSI 394-6), and Michigan (BSSM 482, 
listed but text not given). Mrs. Steely notes that it is found also 
in Geneva Anderson's "A Collection of Ballads and Songs from 
East Tennessee," a master's thesis submitted at the University of 
North Carolina in 1932. 



'Poor Little Sailor Boy.' Contributed in 1922, with tune, by Mrs. 
Charles K. Tillett of Wanchese, Roanoke Island. 

1 It was of a dark and stormy night, 
So cold the w^ind does blow ; 

It was of a poor little sailor boy 

Up to a lady's door. 

A-setting at her window^ 

He lifted his eyes with joy, 

Saying, 'For the Lord's sake some pity take 

On a poor little sailor boy. 

2 'A rain it is a-sending down 
And the night is drawing on, 
And if you don't some pity take 
I shall die before it's morn. 

My mother died when I was young. 
My father went to the war, 
And the next news come, oh, he was slain. 
And he died of wounds and scars. 

3 'A many a day all in his arms 
He toted me with joy, 

But now I am left quite friendless, 

A poor little sailor boy ; 

But now I'm left quite friendless, 

So I'll set me down and cry. 

The children can run to their parents at home ; 

No friends at home have L' 

4 The lady arose all from her chair 
And opened the ancient door, 
Says, 'Come you in, little sailor boy, 
You never shall want for more. 
For on the sea my son was lost ; 

^ The Missouri A text shows how this should run : "And seeing her in 
her window so high." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 397 

He was my only joy. 

So as long as I live I willingly give 

To a poor little sailor boy, 

So as long as I live I willingly give 

To a poor little sailor boy.' 



'The Soldier's Poor Little Boy.' Obtained by Mrs. Steely from Mi 
Rebecca Jones, of the Ebenezer community, Wake county, in 1931. 

1 'My mother died whenst I was young, 
My father went to the war, 

And so many a mile has carried me 
In his knapsack with joy.' 

2 And as he walked out to the lady so gay,^ 
'O lady gay, some pity on me take, 

I'm a poor little soldier boy. 



3 'And that would grieve your heart, I know, 
With many a broken sigh, 

To find lying dead at your door 
One poor little soldier boy.' 

4 T have one son in the army so gay ; 
He's my only hope and joy. 

And as long as I have shelter, I'll give 
To a poor little homeless boy. 

5 'Walk in, walk in, my little soldier boy. 
And never wander no more ; 

As long as I have shelter, I'll give 
To a poor little homeless boy.' 

152 

The Orphan 

This sounds like the sort of thing to be sung by a begging child 
at street corners, but I have no evidence that it is so used. It has 
been reported from Kentucky (BKH 147), North Carolina (JAFL 
XLV 68-9, FSSH 377), Missouri (BSM 278-9), and Indiana (SFLQ 
IV 198). There are two texts in our collection. 

A 
'The Orphan Girl.' Contributed by Miss Edith Walker of Boone. 
Watauga county, in 1936. 

I Have you heard the mournful story? 
All my friends are dead and gone. 
I'm cast out in the world to roam ; 
I'm a poor orphan left alone. 

^ "That was when he walked to her door." — Mrs. Jones's explanation. 



398 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Chorus: 

Brothers and I have no sisters;^ 
All my friends are dead and gone, 
I've no one to care for me; 
I'm a poor orphan left alone. 

2 Take your Bible in your closet, 
Read and pray each night, 
Seek protection in your Savior, 
And no more be left alone. 

3 Mother said to me when dying, 
When her breath was almost gone, 
'Dearest daughter, you soon will be 
A poor orphan left alone.' 

4 When her eyes were closed in death 
And her body laid in the tomb, 
I've no one to care for me ; 

I'm a poor orphan left alone. 

5 Dreary is the shade of eve 
When the night is coming on. 
Often I think of only Jesus, 
I, a poor orphan left alone. 

6 Oft times I walk in the lonesome graveyard 
Praying for the time to come 

When by mother I'll be buried 
And no longer be left alone. 



'The Orphant Girl.' Collected by W. Amos Abrams in 1938 from 
Melba Lovill of Boone, Watauga county. Differs from A in that the 
stanzas are slightly rearranged and no part is marked as chorus. 

Fond Affection 

A favorite among songs of disappointed love. Its origin has not 
been discovered. It is sung in Scotland (Ord 181-2) and is known 
in this country in Virginia (a record of it from that state is listed 
by the Archive of American Folk Song), Kentucky (ASb 232, 
FSKH 12-3), Tennessee (JAFL xlv 70-1, FSSH 250-1), North 
Carolina (SharpK 11 109, BMFSB 52-3), Arkansas (OFS iv 
251, 252-3, 255), Missouri (BSM 209, OFS iv 250, 251-2, 254), 
and Illinois (TSSI 234-7, a somewhat remote representative of the 
song) ; it seems not to have been found in New England. The 

* The B text is similarly unintelligible here. The Missouri texts show 
what is intended : "Brothers, sisters, have I neither" ; "Brothers I have 
none nor sisters." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 399 

thirteen texts in our collection strikingly illustrate the way of the 
folk with a song. Though all of them are forms of this song, no 
two of them are just alike; elements are taken up, dropped, moved 
about, modified. One assumes that it circulated at some time in 
print, but the present texts have all the appearance of having moved 
through various minds and mouths. 



'Fond Affection.' Obtained by J. T. Carpenter in 1920 or thereabouts 
from the manuscript songbook of Mrs. Mary Martin Copley, Route 8, 
Durham. 

1 Once I loved with fond aflFection 
And I thought that he loved me. 
But another girl persuaded 

And he cares no more for me. 

Chorus: 

Go and leave me if you wish to, 
Never let me cross your mind ; 
If you think I'm so unworthy, 
Go and leave me, never mind. 

2 Many a time while you lie sleeping, 
Dreaming at your sweet repose, 

I, poor girl, lie broken-hearted. 
Listening to the wind that blows. 

3 Many a time with you I've wandered, 
Many an hour with you I've spent 
When I thought you was mine forever ; 
But I've found your heart is bent, 

4 Now you are happy with another, 
One who has more gold than I ; 
You have proved to me false-hearted 
Just because I am so poor. 

5 Farewell, friends and fond relations. 
Fare thee well, my false young man. 
You have caused me all this sorrow ; 
Fare thee well, and never mind. 



'Once I Loved with Fond Affection.' Obtained from Mrs. W. L, 
Pridgen of Durham in 1923. What is marked as the chorus in A be- 
comes merely the fifth stanza here ; other stanzas corresponding to those 
in A are differently placed ; several stanzas are not represented in A 
at all. 

I Once I loved with fond affection 
And I thought that you loved me ; 



400 NORTH CAROLIN/ FOLKLORE 

But I found that you'd deceived me 
And you cared no more for me. 

2 You have left me for another, 
One who has more gold than I ; 
But my heart has loved none other 
Fondly as it once loved you. 

3 They have told you false stories, 
You believed them, all they say. 
You are false, but I'll forgive you — 
But forget I never may. 

4 You have tried your powers to lead me 
From the paths of duty true ; 

But thank God your powers are ended, 
I shall care no more for you. 

5 Go and leave me if you wish to. 
Never let me cross your mind. 
If you think me so unworthy. 
Go and leave me ; never mind. 

6 I have written you a letter 
To tell you that you are free; 
From this hour and forever 

I shall care no more for thee. 

7 One more word and all is over. 
Why were you unkind to me? 
Tell me why you do not love me? 
Turned aside — how can it be? 

c 
'Fond Affection.' Contributed by Louise Bennett of Middleburg, Vance 
county. Has a good deal in common with A, but is by no means identical 
with that text. 

1 Thou hast learned to love another, 
Thou hast broken every vow. 

We have parted from each other. 
And my heart is breaking now. 

2 Once I loved with fond affection ; 
You were all the world to me 

Till some dark-eyed girl persuaded, 
Then you thought no more of me. 

3 Many a night while you lie sleeping. 
Dreaming in your sweet repose, 

I, poor girl, lie broken-hearted 
Listening to the wind that blows. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 4OI 

4 I am writing you this letter 
Telling you that you are free ; 
From this moment and forever 
You are nothing more to me. 

5 May your life be long and happy, 
May your troubles be but few, 
May you find a rest in heaven 
When your earthly task is through. 

D 
'If It's in Your Heart' or 'I Once Did Love Your Fond Affection.' 
From the manscripts of G. S. Robinson of Asheville, copy taken August 
4, 1939. Four stanzas and chorus. All of the stanzas, including the 
chorus, are in the preceding texts, but they are altered. In the last line 
of stanza 2 "them" should presumably be "lent" (though it is "bent" 
in A). The peculiar misuse of language in the opening line appears 
also, with slight variation, in texts E and F. 

1 I once did love your fond affection, 
All my hopes on thee I placed, 
Until that dark -eyed girl persuaded ; 
Then you cared for me no more. 

Chorus: 

Just go and leave me if you want to. 
Through this lonely world I'll flee. 
If it's in your heart to love another 
In my grave I'd rather be. 

2 A many a night with you I've rambled, 
A many a night with you I've spent. 

I thought I'd won your heart forever, 
Now I see it was only them. 

3 A many a night while you lay sleeping, 
Dreaming of some sweet repose, 

And me, a poor girl, lay broken-hearted 
Listening to the wind that blows. 

4 Just go and leave me if you want to. 
Through this lonely world I'll flee. 
If it's in your heart to love another 
In my grave I'd rather be. 

E 
'Fond Affection.' Communicated by Austin E. Elliott of Randolph 
county in 1919. Most of the matter in this text has appeared in the 
preceding versions but with slight variation in the order and the phrasing. 
The last line of stanza 4 seems to have been borrowed from 'We Have 
Met and We Have Parted,' for which see pp. 409-14. 



402 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 Once I loved a fond affection, 
And he thought this world of me, 
Till some dark-eyed girl persuaded; 
Then he thought no more of me. 

Chorus: 

Go and leave me if you wish to. 
Never let me cross your mind. 
If you think I'm so unworthy 
Go and leave me, never mind. 

2 Darling, when you lay in slumber, 
Dreaming in your sweet repose, 
I'm a poor girl broken-hearted 
Listening to the wind that blows. 

3 I have loved you, dearly loved you 
More than all this world can know. 

You have broken the heart that loved you 
And I say, forever go. 

4 Go now, but to flirt with another, 
Try and gain her for your bride. 

In your heart her love she has written ; 
Love will never conquer pride. 

5 I have written you a letter 
Telling you that you are free; 
From this moment now forever 
You are nothing more to me. 

6 Future days may bring on sorrow. 
Though your troubles now are few. 
If you live until tomorrow 
Would you die for sake of me? 

7 Sweet the hour when first I met you, 
Sad the hour my lips shall say 

'By and by you will forget me, 
By and by and so far away.' 

8 Tell me one thing, tell me truly : 
Do you love none else but me? 

I will love you if you let me, 
I don't believe one word you say. 



'Fond of Affection.' Secured, probably about 1923, from Miss Jewell 
Robbins of Pekin, Montgomery county (afterwards Mrs. C. P. Perdue). 
Sung to the tune of 'The Gypsy's Warning.' The last stanza and a 
half of this version have not appeared in the preceding texts. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 403 

1 Once I loved a fond affection 
And he thought the world of me, 
Till some dark-eyed girl persuaded; 
Then he thought no more of me. 

2 When the golden sun is setting 
And from cares your mind is free, 
When of others you are thinking, 
Will you sometimes think of me? 

3 Go and [leave] me if you wish to, 
Never let me cross your mind. 

If you think I am unworthy 
Go and leave me, never mind, 

4 Many a night when you lay sleeping, 
Dreaming in your sweet repose, 

I, poor girl, all broken-hearted 

Lie and listen to the wind that blows. 

5 When I was down on low-oak river 
Sitting under a weeping-willow tree 

I could hardly keep from fainting 
When you turned your back on me. 

6 Hard to love and can't be loved, 
Hard to please, to please man's mind. 

G 

'Raven Dark Hair.' Obtained by W. Amos Abrams from Margaret 
Bariowe in October 1937. She had "borrowed this, along with many 
others, from some friends." The title — a phrase which does not appear 
anywhere in the text — shows that it was somehow associated in the 
contributor's mind with 'The Pale Wildwood Flower' (no. 258 in vol. 
III). The last stanza — which is a reply to the preceding four — belongs 
to 'Little Sparrow' (no. 249 in vol. III). In the manuscript "girl" 
is written in in parentheses after "boy" in stanzas i, 4, and 5 to show 
that the song may be applied to either sex. 

1 I once did love with fond affection ; 
All my care was then of thee. 

Until some dark-eyed boy persuaded ; 
And now you care no more for me. 

2 Just go and leave me if you wish to. 
From this old town I will flee. 

If in your heart you love some other 
In my grave I would rather be. 

3 A many a time with you I've rambled. 
My happiest hours with you I've spent. 



404 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

I thought your heart was mine forever, 
But found it to be only lent. 

4 A many a night while you lay sleeping, 
Dreaming in your sweet repose, 

Me, a poor boy, lay broken-hearted 
Listen to the wind that blows. 

5 My darling boy, since first I saw you 
It's been many a dark and gloomy day. 
Many a bright sunshiny morning 
Has turned to a cold and rainy day. 

H 

'Fond Devotion.' Reported by Miss Pearl Webb of Pineola, Avery 
county, in 1921, with the tune. Only stanza i and the chorus have 
appeared in the preceding versions, but the rest is kindred matter. 

1 Once I had a fond devotion. 
More than all the world to me, 
Till some fairy won him from me ; 
Now no more he thinks of me. 

Chorus: 

Now go and leave me if you wish to, 
Never let me cross your mind. 
For in your heart you love another. 
Go and leave me. I don't mind. 

2 Pretty flowers were made for blooming, 
Pretty stars were made for shining. 
Pretty boys were made for girl-love. 
But you were not made for mine. 

3 Every night in this creation 
Bowing on my bended knee 

I pray to God, oh, tell and ask him 
If my sweetheart e'er thinks of me. 

4 Just three more things I only wish for, 
That's my coffin, shroud, and grave. 
When I'm dead and in my coffin 
Think of the heart that you've betrayed. 

5 God may teach me to forgive you 
For the wrong that you have done ; 
But forget you I can never. 

My whole heart and soul you've won. 



ALL ADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 405 



'Future Days.' Communicated by Mamie Mansfield of Durham in July 
1922. Further from the ordinary text than the others, but clearly a 
form of the same song. 

1 Future days may bring on sorrow. 
Oh. my troubles they are great. 
If we never seek tomorrow, 
Only think it for your sake. 

Chorus: 

Go and leave me if you wish to, 
Never let me cross your mind. 
If you think I'm too unworthy 
Go your way, and never mind. 

2 God may teach me to forgive you 
For the way that you have done. 
But forget you I can never, 

For my whole heart you have won. 

3 Here is your ring; I pray you, take it, 
Give it to the one you love ; 

For you have placed it on my finger 
In the presence of our love. 

4 Once I thought you really loved me 
And I thought that you would be true ; 
But the dark-haired girl persuaded 
And now you no longer care for me. 

5 Many times with you I've rambled, 
Many days with you I've been, 
Thought your heart was mine forever ; 
But I found it was not true. 

6 Oh, it's time that we are parting. 
For the night is growing late. 

Now you have proved to be false-hearted : 
Now I'll go and meet my fate. 

7 Here is my hand. Oh, clasp it gently 
As you have in days of yore ; 

For we are parting now forever, 
Parting now forevermore. 

8 Down among the reeds and bushes 
Where the tall green willows wave. 
When I am dead and in my cofifin 
There you will find my lonely grave. 



406 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

J 

'Old Love Song.' Contributed by Mrs. Sutton in 1928 as sung by Mrs. 
Becky Gordon of Saluda Mountain, Henderson county. Made up of 
quatrains found in the other versions. 

1 Many a mile with you I've rambled, 
Many an hour with you I've spent. 
Thought your love was mine forever. 
But I find it's all in vain. 

Chorus: 

Go and leave me if you wish to, 
Never let me cross your mind. 
If you think me so unworthy 
Go and leave me ; I don't mind. 

2 Many a night when you lay sleeping, 
Dreaming of your fond report, 
Me, poor girl, all broken-hearted 
Listening to the cold wind roar. 

3 Pretty flowers was made to bloometh. 
Pretty stars was made to shine, 
Pretty girls was made for man's love 
And perhaps you was made for mine. 

K 

'Little Darling Pal of Mine.' Obtained by L. W. Anderson from Max- 
ine Tillett, Nag's Head. The "darling pal" and the "casket, shroud, 
and grave" have somehow been brought into our song from outside. 

1 Many a night while you lay sleeping, 
Dreaming of your rambling mind, 
While your poor wife lies broken-hearted. 
Listening to the wind that sighs. 

Chorus: 

My little darling, you know I love you, 
Love you more than tongue can tell. 
In your heart you love another. 
Little darling pal of mine. 

2 Many a day with you I've rambled, 
Happiest hours with you I've spent. 
I thought I had your heart forever 
But I find it only lent. 

3 There is just three things I wish for. 
That's my casket, shroud, and grave. 
When I'm dead don't weep o'er me ; 
Just kiss these lips that you've betrayed. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 4O7 

L 
Separation.' A two-stanza fragment reported by Clara Hearne of Chat- 
ham county; here put into the mouth of the man. 

1 Oft at night when you were sleeping, 
Dreaming in your sweet repose, 

I, poor boy, am broken-hearted. 
Listening to the wind that blows. 

2 Go and leave me if you wish to, 
Never let ine cross your mind. 
If you think that I'm unworthy. 
Go and leave me ; never mind. 



'Darling, Do You Know Who Loves You?' Obtained in Davidson county 
by S. M. Holton, Jr., of Durham. Date not noted. Previously reported 
(with considerable differences in the text) only from North Carolina, 
BMFSB 52-3. Stanzas 5-7 have suffered somewhat in transmission, as 
will be seen by comparing them with the relevant stanzas in preceding 
texts. 

1 Darling, do you know who loves you, 
Do you know whose heart you've won ? 
I'm so lonely here without you, 
Though the parting time has come. 

2 You may go and flirt with another, 
Try to win her for your bride. 

This poor aching heart must smother ; 
Love can always conquer pride. 

3 You may meet with many bright faces ; 
They may tell you I'm not true. 

Don't believe them, no, don't believe them ; 
No one loves you as I do. 

4 You may meet with many bright changes 
Glittering down the river stream. 
Remember, oh, remember 

You are always in my dreams. 

5 Many nights with you I rambled. 
Many hours with you I spent. 
Though your heart was mine forever 
I found it only at length. 

6 Many nights while you lie asleep. 
Dreaming of whom you love, 

So I lie here all heart-broken. 
Listening to the wind that blows. 



4o8 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 God teaches me to forgive you 
For the way that you have done. 
Forget you I can never ; 
Your cold heart I have won. 



154 

You Are False, but Fll Forgive You 

The three texts assembled under this title might perhaps have 
been entered under 'Fond Affection.' Their theme is the same. 
But they use little of the preferred imagery of that composite song, 
and do maintain something approaching an identity of their own. 
Two of them are from the same contributors who supplied the A 
and the H texts of 'Fond Affection,' showing apparently that they 
considered it a different song. Davis (FSV 88) reports it as in 
the Virginia collection. Randolph (OFS iv 214) reports it from 
Missouri. 



'You Are False, but I'll Forgive You.' From Miss Pearl Webb of 
Pineola, Avery county, March 24, 1909. 

1 Fare thee well, for once I loved you 
Even more than tongue can tell ; 
Little did I think you'd leave me ; 
Now I bid you all farewell. 

You have wrecked the heart I cherished. 
You have doomed me day by day, 
You are false; but Fll forgive you. 
But forget you I never may. 

2 When I saw your eyes in virtue, 
I could scarce believe my own ; 
When I heard your voice in anger 
It was death to every tone. 

They have told you some false stories 
And you believed them all they say. 
You are false, but Fll forgive you; 
But forget you I never may. 

3 One more word and all is over. 
Why are you unkind to me? 

Tell me why you do not love me, 
Turn aside — how can it be? 
No word, not one word of pleasure, 
You believe them all they say. 
You are false; but Fll forgive you. 
But forget you I never may. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 4O9 

B 

'You Were False.' From the manuscript songbook of Mrs. Mary Martin 
Copley, Route 8, Durham — from whom came also version A of 'Fond 
Affection.' 

1 Fare thee well, for once I loved thee 
Even more than tongue can tell. 
Little did I think you'd leave me, 
That we'd ever say farewell. 

2 You have wrecked the heart that loved you. 
You have doomed me day by day, 

You were false, but I'll forgive you, 
But forget you I never may, 

3 Oh ! true love is ever constant, 
Not one spark e'er fades away. 
You were false, but I forgive you. 
But for you I'll always pray. 

4 Just one word, and all is over: 
Why are you unkind to me ? 
Tell me why you do not love me. 
Turn aside — how can it be? 

5 You have left me for another, 
You have turned from me away. 
You were false, but I'll forgive you ; 
But forget you I never may. 

c 
'Fare Thee Well.' From Katherine Bernard Jones, Raleigh. No date 
given. 

1 Fare thee well, for once I loved thee, 
Loved you more than tongue can tell, 
Little thought you would deceive me ; 
Now I bid you fare-thee-well. 

You have wrecked the hopes I cherished, 
You have doomed me day by day. 
You are false, but I'll forgive you: 
But forget you I never may. 

2 When I saw you rise^ in anguish 
I could scarce believe my own ; 
When I heard your voice in anger 
It was death in every tone. 

One more word, and all is over: 
Why are you unkind to me? 
They have told you some false stories. 
But believe them if you may. 
* The next line suggests that we should read here "your eyes." 



410 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

You are false, but I'll forgive you ; 
But forget you I never may. 

155 

We Have Met and We Have Parted 

The parting of lovers after a quarrel or a misunderstanding is 
the theme of countless folk lyrics — countless because, using various 
combinations of familiar motives, they often lack integration; it is 
impossible to say with certainty that two texts are forms of one 
song. An attempt, however, is here made to group at least some 
of them under discrete titles for convenience in reference. The 
seven texts and the fragment here assembled under the above title 
seem to represent one song. It is found also in Kentucky (JAFL 
XLix 219-20), Tennessee (SSSA 165-6), and Missouri (BSM 
212-3) ; more or less like it are songs reported from Tennessee 
(JAFL XLV 77-8) and Georgia (JAFL xliv 96-7), and items listed 
in Shearin's Syllabus and in the Archive of American Folk Song 
under the title 'Broken Engagement' may be forms of this song. 

A 
'We Have Met and We Have Parted.' Communicated by I. G. Greer of 
Boone, Watauga county. Not dated, but most of his contributions were 
sent in in 191 5-16. 

1 We have met and we have parted, 
We have said our last goodbye. 
You have proved to be false-hearted, 
Yet I scorn to breathe a sigh. 

Chorus : 

Though I loved you, dear, I loved you 
More than all this world, I know. 
But you've broken the troth that binds us ; 
You may now forever go. 

2 Go, but not to deceive another, 
Go, try and win her for your bride. 
This poor broken heart I'll smother, 
For love shall never conquer pride. 

3 'Tis getting time that we were parted. 
For the night is growing late. 

You have left me broken-hearted ; 
Thus I go to meet my fate. 

4 Oh, I wish that I was marble. 
Cold and white upon some shore ; 
This poor heart would know no trouble, 
I should feel love's pain no more. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 4II 

5 I will send you back your letters 
And the ring I love so well, 

For we've met and we've parted. 
Still 'tis hard to say farewell. 

6 Here is your ring ; I pray you take it, 
Give it to the one you love. 

My poor heart you have broken. 
Oh, you know that you have sinned ! 

7 When your name is called in heaven 
You may neither scringe nor sigh. 
Think of nothing you are leaving — 
Oh, 'tis hard to say goodbye! 

8 We are parting now forever, 
Gathering flowers from the dell. 
Oh, I pray that you may never 
Feel the pain I cannot tell. 

9 Along the river bank I'll loiter 
Till I see you free once more. 
Then I'll plunge beneath its water 
And land on some fair shore. 

10 There among the trees and bushes 
Where the dark green willows wave, 
Where the gentle zephyr rushes, 
There will be my lonely grave. 

B 

The Broken Engagement.' Contributed, with the tune, by C. E. Buckner 
of Asheville in May 1920. 

1 We have met and we have parted, 
We have said our last goodbye. 
You have proved to me false-hearted, 
Though I fain would have^ a sigh. 

Chorus: 

For I loved you, dearly loved you. 
More than all this world, I know. 
But you've broken the trust you plighted ; 
Now you may forever go. 

2 Go, but not to deceive another. 
Try to win her for your bride. 
While this broken heart I'll smother. 
Love can never conquer pride. 

'So the manuscript. Is "heave" intended? 



412 



NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



3 Here's your ring ; I pray you take it. 
Give it to the one you love, 
Though you placed it on my finger 
In the presence of our God. 

4 We are parting now forever, 
Gathering flowers upon the dell; 
And I pray that you may never 
Feel the pain I cannot tell. 

5 Oh, 'tis time that we are parting, 
For the night is growing late. 

You have proved to me false-hearted. 
Now ril go and meet my fate. 

6 On the river bank I'll loiter 
Till I see your face no more. 
Then I'll plunge beneath the water 
And I'll light on some fair shore. 

7 Then among the reeds and bushes 
Where the deep green willows wave 
And the gentle zephyr rushes 
There you'll find my lonely grave. 

8 When your name is called in heaven 
You may neither screnge nor sigh. 
Think of nothing you are leaving. 
Oh, 'tis hard to say goodbye ! 

9 Here's my hand. Oh, clasp it gently 
As you did in days of yore, 

For we're parting now forever. 
Parting now forevermore. 

10 When at last we meet in heaven. 
Where we ne'er will part any more, 
Where there'll be no broken-hearted 
On that bright celestial shore. 

1 1 For I loved you dearly, loved you 
More than all this world I know. 
But you've proved to be false-hearted, 
Now I bid you ever go. 



'Rroken Engagement.' From Mrs. Minnie Church, Heaton Avery 
county in 193a Shorter and less coherent, especially in the last two 
stanzas, than A. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 413 

Darling, we have long been parted. 
How I miss the love of old ! 
I am almost broken-hearted ; 
For my love has never grown cold. 

I am dreaming of you, darling, 
Dreaming of your eyes so blue. 
Take me back ; for love I'm dying; 
I can love no one but you. 

Think how often we have wandered 
Down beside the foamy sea. 
There you promised you'd be true, dear, 
That you loved no one but me. 

Oh, I love you dearly, love you 
More than all the world can know. 
But you've broken the vow you made me ; 
You may now forever go. 

Go ! But don't forsake another. 
I am with a royal pride, 
And this broken heart does smother ; 
Love can never conquer pride. 

Now I'll give you back your letters 
And the ring I love so well. 
We must meet him for that treasure 
Where we'll never say farewell. 



Lovers' Farewell.' Contributed by W. Amos Abrams ; not dated : six 
stanzas and the chorus. The stanzas in their order as they come cor- 
respond to stanzas i, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 of A, with numerous slight variations. 

E 
'I Wish That I Was Marble.' From the manuscripts of G. S. Robinson 
of Asheville, copied off August 4, 1939. Like D it consists of six 
stanzas and the chorus, and as in D all the stanzas are found in A, but 
the stanzas are not the same as in D. They are, successively, stanzas 
1, 2, 5, 10, 4, 7 of A — again with numerous small differences in the text. 

F 
'Met, Loved, and Parted.' From the manuscript songbook of Mrs. Mary 
Martin Copley, Route 8, Durham, obtained by Jesse T. Carpenter. Five 
stanzas (with chorus), the first three of which are, with slight variations, 
stanzas i, 5, and 2 of A ; the last two stanzas are not quite like any in 
the preceding texts : 



When you've won her love and aflfection 
Cast a lingering thought on me, 



414 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

On the one who loved you so dearly 
And would have died for thee. 

5 We have parted now forever, 
We have said our last farewell. 
I will think of you, but never 
Will I love again so well. 



'Sweet the Hour When First I Met You.' On this manuscript Dr. 
Brown has noted under date July 14, 1940: "From MSS of Mr. Obie 
Johnson, Crossnore; not sung by Mr. Johnson (I knew this song when 
I was a boy)." The chorus appears to have been supplied by Dr. Brown. 

1 Sweet was the hour when first I met thee, 
Sad the hour of parting be. 

By and by you will forget me, 
By and by, when far away. 

2 In the past I loved you dearly, 
Loved you more than tongue can tell. 
Little did I think you'd ever, 

Ever say farewell. 

3 Go but to deceive another. 
Go and worship at her shrine, 
Win her heart and cruelly break it 
Just as you have broken mine. 

4 Tell me, darling, tell me truly 
Why you are unkind to me ; 
For I know that I could never, 
Never be unkind to thee. 

5 Go but to deceive another, 
Try to win her for your bride. 

I a broken heart must smother; 
Love can never conquer pride. 

6 One more word, and all is over, 
One more word to the one I love. 
If on earth we meet, no, never. 
Pray we'll meet in heaven above. 

"I think," says the manuscript, "there was a chorus which went thus: 

For I've loved you, dearly loved you, 
More than all this world can know ; 
But you've proven to me false-hearted 
And I say, forever go." 

H 
Mrs. Daisy Jones Couch of Durham knew the first stanza only. 



older ballads mostly british 415 

Broken Ties 

This title is chosen from the three offered by the different ver- 
sions to avoid confusion with other songs on the same theme. It 
is known in Kentucky (BKH 140), Tennessee (ETWVMB 103, 
SSSA 167, FSSH 235-6), Missouri (OFS iv 333-4), Indiana 
(SFLQ IV 181-2), and Illinois (TSSI 229-30), and is perhaps the 
same as an item reported in the Archive of American Folk Song 
as recorded in Mississippi. If it was originally a parlor song, 
it has suffered somewhat in oral transmission. 



'The Broken Engagement.' Reported by I. G. Greer of Boone, Watauga 
county. Date not given, but it should probably be about 1915. 

1 'Twould have been better for us both hcJ we never 
In this wide, wicked world 'a' met ; 

Tho' the pleasures we've both seen together 
I can never, no, never forget. 

Chorus: 

When the cold, cold clay is laid upon me, 
Won't you come, love, and shed just a tear? 
And say to the strangers around you 
That a heart you have broken lies here. 

2 'Twould have been better for us both had we been 

strangers. 
But oh ! why should I speak of it now ? 
For it was long, long ago 
That I saw danger of sad, broken heart. 

3 You always told me that you loved me. 
That no other could ever come between ; 
But it was long, long ago since you told me. 
And the words in my memory are still green. 

4 Farewell! For in vain I have departed. 

And I shall struggle through this sad and lonely world, 
Although you have left me broken-hearted. 
And your last words shall be mingled with tears. 



'Broken Ties.' Communicated by Miss Kate R. Russell of Roxboro, 
Person county, probably in 1923. 

I It would have been better if we never 

In this wide wicked world, never to have met; 
For the pleasures we've had together 
I'm sure I shall never forget. 



4l6 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 Oh, how sadly my heart is turned towards thee! 
Tho the distance has kept us apart. 

Do you love me as dear as when you told me 
Long ago, folded close to your heart? 

3 It has been long ago since you told me, 
Tho the words in my memory lies deep ; 
You told me that you would always love me, 
Said that nothing could come in between. 

4 It would have been better if we'd been strangers. 
But why do I speak of it now ? 

Have I not long ago felt the danger 

Of a heart broken through a false vow? 

5 Fare thee well ! For all hoj^es have departed, 
I shall struggle through life until death. 
And since you've left me broken-hearted, 
Thy name shall employ my heart's depths. 

6 And when death's cold grave surrounds me 
Won't you come, love, and shed just one tear? 
To tell to the strangers around me 

That a heart you have broken lies here. 

c 
'Blue Eyes.' From Mrs. Minnie Church of Heaton, Avery county, in 
1930. The "chorus" is not found in the other versions, and seems alien ; 
but the rest of the text belongs clearly to the same song as A and B. 

1 It would have been better for us both to have never 
In this wide wicked world never met ; 

For the good times we've both spent together. 
Love, I'm sure I can never forget. 

Chorus: 

I am thinking today of my blue eyes 
Who are sailing forever^ the sea, 
I am thinking today of my blue eyes. 
And I wonder if he ever thinks of me. 

2 Oh, you told me once, dear, that you loved me, 
And you said that we never would part. 

But the links and the chains they have broken ; 
Leave me, love, with a sad broken heart. 

3 When the cold, cold grave shall enclose [me] 
Will you come, love, and shed just one tear? 
It will show to the strangers around me 

A poor heart you have broken lies there. 
^ Probably miswritten for "far over." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 4I7 

D 

'The Broken Engagement.' Secured from Miss Lura Wagoner of Vox 
in 1936; one of the entries in her manuscript songbook, made probably 
about 1912. The text does not differ significantly from A. 



They Were Standing by the Window 

The song with this opening line maintains a fair degree of identity 
in the southern Appalachians: Tennessee (SSSA 147-8), North 
Carolina (BMFSB 56-7), and Georgia (SSSA 1^9-50). Davis 
(FSV 90) reports it as in the Virginia collection. Known also in 
Missouri (OFS iv 283-4). Presumably a parlor song originally, 
its authorship and the date and place of its origin have tiot been 
discovered, 

A 

'The Broken Heart.' Contributed by I. G. Greer, Boone, Watauga 
county. 

1 They were standing by a window 
As the night wind kissed her cheeks. 
As he waited long in silence, 
Waited long for her to speak. 

2 And at last she murmured sadly 
As she raised her tearful eyes 
With a look so full of sadness 
That it filled him with surprise : 

3 'I have summoned you, my darling, 
So that I may tell you all 

Ere our vows by angels written 
Are forever past recall. 

4 'For they say you love another, 
That you never have loved me. 

If those cruel words are true, dear, 
I forever set you free.' 

5 Then she gazed with eager yearning. 
Gazed upon that face so fair 

Till was stamped upon her memory 
Dark brown eyes and raven hair. 

6 Then from her blue eyes faded 
All the tender misty light, 

And her small hands clenched in passion 
While her face grew stern and white. 



4l8 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 "Tis enough!' she cried in anguish, 
'Stain no more your guilty soul; 
May oblivion's silent water 
Evermore between us roll. 

8 'Long have I in faith unshaken 
Trusted every word of thine ; 

Even now, though I've been forsaken 
And thy heart's no longer mine. 

9 'Long you've held my soul in bondage, 
Long I've been thy willing slave. 
Even now, tho you forsake me, 

I would die thy life to save. 

10 'I'll return each little missive 
You have written in the past. 
But the burning words within them 
E'er will haunt me to the last. 

11 'Do not think that I'll forget you. 
No, I'll live on just as now 

Till the arms of earth enfold me 
And the dew is on my brow. 

12 'Fare you well,' she added gently, 
As he seized her outstretched hand, 
Covered it with burning kisses, 
Whispering, 'God will understand. 

13 'He will know that to deceive you 
Ne'er has been a wish of mine, 
And I shall obtain forgiveness ; 
But I cannot hope for thine. 

14 'Fare you well,' he added hoarsely, 
'But by yonder s star above 

To deceive I ne'er intended 
When I told you of my love.' 

15 'He is gone,' the white Hps quivered; 
Lower bends the golden head. 

And the little hands were folded 
As the gentle spirit fled. 

16 God in mercy sent an angel 
To relieve her from all care. 
For he knew the weight of sorrow 
Was far more than she could bear. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 4I9 

17 She was wafted home to heaven, 
To that mansion of the blest 
Where the sad heart knows no sorrow 
And the weary are at rest. 



'Broken Engagement.' Contributed by Miss Constance Patten of Duke 
University in March 1936, as sent to her by Lillie Rhinehart. Somewhat 
shorter than A and, though evidently deriving from the same original, 
giving numerous evidences of change by oral transmission. 

1 They were standing by the window 
As the night wind kissed her cheek. 
There he waited long in silence, 
Waited long for her to speak. 

2 'That's enough,' he added gently 
As he seized her outstretched hand. 
Covering it with burning kisses. 
Whispering, 'God will understand. 

3 'When we meet we meet as strangers; 
On the street just pass me by. 
Never think that I don't love you, 
For to save your life I die. 

4 'I must go,' he added gently. 
'Grieve no more my guilted soul ; 
Let the deepest and silent water 
Evermore between us roll.* 

5 'He has gone,' her pale lips quivered, 
'Left me standing by the gate. 

Tell him for me, sister darling, 
That his message came too late.' 

6 God in heaven sent an angel 
To release her from all care, 

For he knew the weight of sorrow 
Was far more than she could bear. 

7 He was standing by her casket 
As he looked into her face. 
There he realized that he loved her 
And no one could take her place. 

c 
'They Were Standing by the Window.' Obtained from Edna Whitley, 
but the manuscript is not dated. Compared with A and B it curiously 
illustrates the way in which oral transmission changes a text. It is 
given here verbatim from the manuscript. 



420 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 They were standing by the window 
As the night wind kissed her cheek ; 
He had waited long in silence, 
Waited long for her to speak. 

2 As he turned with eager yearning, 
Gazed upon her face so fair. 
There he stamped upon his memory 
Dark blue eyes and raven hair. 

3 'I have summoned you, my darling. 
Oh. that I could tell you all ! 

But by vows of angels unbroken 
Are far-well past recall.' 

4 'Oh, they say you love another 
And that you never love me. 

If these cruel words be true, dear, 
I'll forever set you free.' 

5 Tt is true,' he whispered softly, 
Looking at the stars above, 

'But to deceive you I never intended 
When I told you all my love.' 

6 "Tis enough,' she cried in anguish, 
'Stain no more thy guilty soul. 
May oblivious mercies waters 
Ever more between us roll.' 

7 'Farewell, darling,' he whispered softly 
As he seized her outstretched hands, 
Covering them with burning kisses, 
Say, 'God will understand. 

8 'He will know that to deceive you 
Never was a wish of mine ; 

Tho I shall obtain forgiveness 
I can never hope for thine.' 

9 'He is gone,' her white lips quivered; 
Lower drooped her lovely head. 
With her right hand raised in anguish 
As her gentle spirit fled. 

lo God in mercy sent an angel 
To relieve her of her care. 
For he knew her wants of sorrow 
Was too great for her to bear. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 42I 

11 She was wafted to heaven 

With the ransomed and the blest, 
Where sad hearts know no sorrow 
And the weary forever at rest. 

12 He was standing by the cofifin ; 
And as he gazeH upon her 

Full then he realized that he loved her 
And no one could take her place. 

D 

They Were Standing by the Window.' From the John Burch Blaylock 
Collection Here a new element is introduced; the engagement is broken 
because the man is a drunkard. 

I They were standing by the window 
On the night he kissed her cheeks ; 
They were standing there in silence, 
Waiting for her heart to speak. 

2 'Though they say you love another 
And you never cared for me, 

If those cruel words be true, dear, 
I'll forever set you free. 

3 T can't be your sweetheart any longer. 
And I'll tell you the reason why. 

For my mother always told me 
Just to pass a drunkard by. 

4 'Here's the little ring you gave me; 
From my finger it must part. 
Take and give it to your lover ; 
Leave me with a broken heart. 

5 'When we meet again as strangers 
On the streets, just pass me by. 
Never think that I'll forsake you. 
For to save your life I'd die.' 



158 

The Broken Heart 

Just this form of the song of lovers parting I have not found 
elsewhere. 

7cr^nf^/nf.ZJ}^TM ^V^'^^r ^^''%^; Carpenter from the manu- 
script songbook of Mrs. Mary Martin Copley, RFD 8, Durham. 



422 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 Dearest one, don't you remember 
The last time we did part ? 

My feelings off time have been tender 
While piercing pains roll through my heart. 

2 To think how we loved each other, 
Think of the happy hours we have spent 
In peace and pleasure both together ; 
Our joyful hearts were then content. 

3 But oh, alas ! we are sundered apart 
Never more to meet again. 

There's none can heal the broken-hearted 
Nor banish away doubts and pains. 

4 Oh, pleasure it is a beautiful flower 
And peace it is the joy of hearts, 
But trouble will come in in the hour 
And cause true lovers to part. 

5 You left me, darling, lonely weeping. 
I loved you, and I loved you true. 
And oftime when I am sleeping 

Yet in my lonesome dreams you appear. 



159 

This Night We Part Forever 

One more of the songs of lovers' quarrels. It might perhaps be 
entered as a form of 'Fond Affection,' or 'We Have Met and We 
Have Parted,' or another. In just this form it has not been found 
elsewhere. 

No title. Communicated by Miss Pearl Webb of Pineda, Avery county; 
not dated, but probably in 1921 or 1922. 

1 This night we part forever ; 
Thou art nothing more to me. 
From thee each tie I'll sever 
That binds my heart to thee. 

2 Not a single nerve shall quiver 
When I bid thee last adieu; 
Though it breaks my heart forever 
Not a tear shall fall for thee. 



Forget the kiss I gave you. 
Think you I prize it yet ? 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 423 

For the one you have so shghted 
Looketh only to forget. 

Take your love ; I do not want it ; 
All your gifts take back again. 
Not a breeze that whispers of you, 
Not a flower would I retain. 

Go and smile upon some other, 
Go worship at her shrine, 
Win her heart and cheerily break it 
As you would have broken mine. 

Go in peace, although you've blighted 
All the hopes so dear to me. 
Yet I pray that God's best blessing 
May ever rest on thee. 



160 
Parting Words 

One of the many songs of lovers parting after a quarrel. Under 
various titles they combine much the same elements, often the same 
phrasing. With the song here given compare 'Annie Lee' of this 
volume and 'Faded Flowers' and 'The Finished Letter' of BSM. 
The chorus and stanza 2 of the present text are both to be found 
in 'Faded Flowers' (BSM 216). 

'Parting Words.' Contributed, with the tune, by L G. Greer of Boone, 
Watauga county, probably about 1915. 

1 When the parting words were spoken 
And I told him he was free, 

He might go with those who loved him ; 
It would never trouble me. 

Chorus: 

I am free, oh, free again, 

I am free, oh, free at last, 

Tho sometimes I may be haunted 

With the visions of the past. 

2 I saw him with another 
When the twilight sparkled dim, 
And he had his arms around her ; 
She was murmuring love to him. 

3 You have told me you would never 
Love no other one but me, 



424 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

And I hope you will remember 
You're forever dead to me. 

4 I would not have a sweetheart 
If I couldn't believe him true ; 
And if there is any more flirting 
It will all be done by you. 

5 I have learned to love another, 
And that you can plainly see ; 
And if there is any more flirting 
It will not be done by me. 

6 Then he hung his head in sorrow 
And he wiped his dark brown eye, 
And I heard him gently murmuring 
'Life is nothing more to me.' 



i6i 

Bye and Bye You Will Forget Me 

Another lyric of love's foreboding. It has not been found in 
other collections, though the substance of it appears in many other 
songs on the same general topic. 

'Bye and Bye You Will Forget Me.' Reported by W. Amos Abrams 
of Boone, Watauga county, but he does not say from whom he had it. 

1 Bye and bye you will forget me, 
When your face is far from me 
And the day when first I met you 
Only lives in memory. 

Chorus: 

Sweet the hour when first I met you, 
Sad the hour my lips shall say 
'Bye and bye you will forget me, 
Bye and bye when far away.' 

2 For 'mid other scenes and pleasures 
Nearer joys my heart would sway ; 
And the love, like childish measures. 
Will be tossed and thrown away. 

3 Bye and bye you will forget me, 
When our dream of life is o'er 
And the voice that used to pet me 
By my side is heard no more. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 425 

Lonely then I'll sit and ponder, 
And my quivering lips shall say : 
'Bye and bye you will forget nie. 
Bye and bye when far away.' 

When this you see think of me, 
Though on this earth I may not be ; 
But if the grave should be my bed 
Oh, think of me when I am dead. 



162 

The One Forsaken 
The first stanza of this is an echo from Child 68, 'Young Hunt- 
ing. The rest is a miscellany of bits of folk lyric which reappear 
in other ^ongs^ Pieces approximating this have been reported from 
Virginia (SCSM 125-6) and Kentucky (FSKM 64, TKMS =;o-^) 
See also 'As I Stepped Out Last Sunday Morning' and the ref- 
erences there given. 

WoL°"^ FyP^^^A'u f '■''"' ^^^ manuscript songbook of Miss Lura 
Wagoner of Vox, Alleghany county, where it is dated October 30, 191, 

I 'I will come in but I won't sit down, 
For I haven't a moment of time. 
I hear you have chosen a new sweetheart 
And you are no longer mine, 
And you are no longer mine, my love, 
And you are no longer mine. 
I hear you have chosen a new sweetheart 
And you are no longer mine. 

2 'The blackest crow that ever flew 
It surely will turn to white. 

If ever I forsake the one I love 
Bright days will turn to night, 
Bright days will turn to night, my love. 
Bright days will turn to night. 
If ever I forsake the one I love 
Bright days will turn to night.' 

3 'I wish to the Lord I had never been horned 
Or had died when I was young ; 

I never would 'a' seen your red rosy cheeks 
Or 'a' heard your flattering tongue. 
Or V heard your flattering tongue, my love. 
Or 'a' heard your flattering tongue. 



426 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

I never would 'a' seen your red rosy cheeks 
Or 'a' heard your flattering tongue.' 

4 'Hush up, hush up, hush up, my love; 
I hate to hear you cry. 
The best of friends they too must part, 
And why not you and I ? 
And why not you and I, my love, 
And why not you and I ? 
The best of friends they too must part, 
And why not you and I ?' 



163 

Don't Forget Me, Little Darling 

This should perhaps have been entered as a form of 'Fond Affec- 
tion,' since stanzas 5 and 6 are versions of stanzas 3 and 4 of the 
M version of that song, which only illustrates again the remarkably 
fluid character of the love songs of ballad singers. 

'Don't Forget Me, Little Darling.' Communicated by C. B. Houck of 
Todd, Ashe county, in April 1920. 

1 Don't forget me, little darling. 
Don't forget the happy past, 
Don't forget the time we parted ; 
We will surely meet at last. 

2 Don't forget me, little darling. 
When from me you're far away, 
But remember, little darling, 
We will meet again some day. 

3 Don't forget the night we parted. 
We were sitting side by side 

When you whispered that you loved me. 
You have won my heart's regard. 

4 Who will kiss you, little darling? 
Who will clasp you to their breast? 
Who will talk the future over 
While I roam the desert West? 

5 You may meet with many lovers. 
Some may tell you I'm not true. 
But remember, little darling. 

No one loves you as I do. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 427 

6 You may meet with many chances 
GHding down the river stream ; 
But remember, Httle darhng. 
You are always in my dream. 

7 At my window, sad and lonely, 
Often do I think of you, 

And I wonder, little darling. 
If you ever think of me. 

8 Should you ever change, my darling, 
What would this life be to me? 
Nothing but a stream of sorrow 
Would this poor child ever see. 

164 
She Was Happy till She Met You 

Randolph, who reports two texts from Missouri (OFS iv 346-7), 
notes that in a songbook published by a St. Louis patent medicine 
concern it is credited to Chas. Graham and Monroe H. Rosenfeld 
and was copyrighted in 1899. It is listed in Shearin's Syllubus as 
known in Kentucky. 

'She Was Happy till She Met You.' Obtained by Jesse T. Carpenter 
some time in the period 1921-23 from the manuscript songbook of Mrs. 
C. T. Weatherly of Greensboro, Guilford county. 

1 'Twas a bright and sunny day when a young wife went 

away 
From a husband who had wrung her heart with pain. 
On the table lay a note : these simple words she wrote, 
'Goodbye ! I hope we'll never meet again.' 
To her mother she returned, her home for which she'd 

often yearned. 
For every spark of love for him had fled ; 
But he sought her out at last, with repentance of the past, 
When her mother met him at the door and said : 

Chorus: 

'She was happy till she met you, and the fault is all 

your own. 
If she wishes to forget you you will please let her alone. 
She has come to her own mother, just because there is 

no other ; 
She'll be happy in her own sweet home.' 

2 'I have come to say goodbye,' said the husband with a sigh. 
Just let me take her to my heart again.' 



428 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Said the mother, ' 'Tis too late ; all her love has turned to 

hate. 
So go your way ; your pleasings^ are in vain.' 
'She is my wife,' the husband cried, 'you shall not take her 

from my side ; 
The law forbids you part us ; we are wed.' 
But the mother answered, 'Nay,' as she sadly turned away, 
And once again to him she firmly said : 

165 

The Ripest Apple 

The title line of this occurs in a song of the general character 
of 'Waly waly, but love is bonny' reported from Maine (JFSS 1 
45) ; otherwise it has not been traced. 

'The Ripest Apple.' Reported by I. G. Greer, Boone, Watauga county, 
probably in 191 5. 

1 The ripest apple the soonest rotten. 
The purest love the soonest cold. 

A young man's words are soon forgotten ; 
Oh, my love, don't be so bold. 

2 Let my name be kindly spoken 
When I'm far away from you ; 
And, although the vows be broken, 
I will fondly speak of you. 

3 In the past we loved each other, 
Loved each other fond and true, 
And I know that I shall never 
Love another as I loved you, 

4 Though I wander on forever 
Seeking lands beyond the sea. 
Well I know that I shall never, 
Never find the like of thee. 

166 

Sweetheart, Farewell 

This belongs in the same general category as 'Fond Affection,' 
'We Have Met and We Have Parted,' and others, and should per- 
haps have been entered as a form of one or the other of them. 
'True Love from the Eastern Shore,' SharpK 11 264, from Virginia, 
is somewhat similar but not the same song. 

^ Miswritten, assuredly, for "pleadings." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 429 

'Sweetheart, Farewell.' From Miss Lura Wagoner's manuscript book 
of songs at Vox, Alleghany county, lent to Dr. Brown in 1936. 

1 Sweetheart, farewell ; at last we part. 
I leave you with an aching heart. 
You bid me go with cruel scorn 

Nor felt the pain which I have borne. 

2 \'our heart was false ; it proved untrue. 
As I have loved you never knew. 
Though cast away, I love you yet ; 

I can forgive, but not forget. 

3 I can forgive, but not forget ; 

1 love you, dear, with sad regret. 
Some other's smiles, some other's face 
In your false heart has found a place. 

4 False friends may leave, and when alone 
You may repent what you have done. 
Sometimes perhaps you'll think of me, 
And in a dream my face may see. 

5 Remember, dear, though I depart. 
The image lies within my heart. 
Though you may hate, I love you yet; 
I can forgive, but not forget. 

167 

My Little Dear, So Fare You Well 

The lover's complaint, by either sex, is a recurrent theme of 
folk song, using the same or like elements in endless combinations 
and permutations. This particular combination has not been found 
elsewhere. Our collection has four texts and a fragment. 

A 

Alas ! My Darling.' Communicated by Bonnie Ethel Dickson of 
Watauga county. No date given. 

1 Alas, my darling, fare you well ; 

You have slighted me, but I wish you well. 
You've slighted me and broken my heart, 
But how can I from you depart? 

2 Come, all young girls of Adam's race, 
With red rosy cheeks and lily-white face. 
I loved you so true no tongue can tell, 
But alas, my darling, fare you well. 

3 The pain of love, I know full well, 

No heart can think, no tongue can tell ; 



430 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

But I can tell you in a few short lines 

Love's worse than sickness ten thousand times. 

4 I loved you once, and that you know, 
I loved the ground on which you go; 
I loved you with a free good will, 
And upon my honor I love you still. 

5 If ever you marry another girl 

I wish you happy in this world ; 
I hope that she will treat you kind, 
Just as I would if you were mine. 

6 When I'm dead and gone to rest 
Remember the one that loved you best; 
And when you're passing by my grave 
Remember the promise to me you gave. 

7 Go dig my grave, go dig it deep, 

And place a marble at my head and feet ; 
And in my hands place flowers few 
To show this world I died for you. 



'Sing with Feeling' is the only caption provided for this text, communi- 
cated in 1938 by W. Amos Abrams as "written for Alice R. Moody by 
her sister Katie Bell Moody, Vilas," Watauga county, in 1912. 

1 My little dear, so fare you well. 
You've slighted me, but I wish you well. 
You've slighted me, you have broke my heart. 
Oh, how can I from you depart? 

2 Oh, pain of love, to you I'll tell, 

No heart can think, no tongue can tell. 

I'll tell you, in a few short lines. 

It's worse than sickness ten thousand times. 

3 My little love, you harmless dove, 

I hope to see you in the world above. 

But if on earth I never more see, 

I'll never serve you as you have served me. 

4 Oh, many a hour I've spent with you. 
But never knew you was not true. 

It breaks my heart to have to part 
And think of your deceitful heart. 



Come, all you girls of Adam's race, 
I'll tell to you my sad disgrace. 
I loved him long, I loved him bold ; 
My Httle dear, God bless you[r] soul. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 43I 

6 When I am dead and gone to rest, 
Remember the one who loves you best. 
And as you pass along my grave 
Just view the grass that o'er me wave. 

c 
'Broken-Hearted.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. 

1 Oh, my love, so fare you well ; 

You slighted me, but I wish you well. 
You slighted me and broke my heart, 
'Tis how come I from you depart. 

2 The pain of love I know so well ; 

My heart can't think, my tongue can't tell. 

I'll write to you a few short lines — 

It's worse than sickness ten thousand times. 

3 I'll grieve, I'll moan, I'll weep, 
But satisfied I'll never more be 
If you on earth I never more see. 

I wouldn't treat you like you have me. 

4 Come all you boys from Adam's race — 
Your rosy cheeks and lily-white face, 
Your rosy cheeks and lily-white hands, 
I love the ground on which you stand. 

5 I love your heart, I love your bone. 

My pretty little darling, God bless your soul. 



D 

'My Little Love, So Farewell.' From Virginia Bowers of Stanly county. 
A somewhat fragmentary text of four stanzas introducing no new 
elements. 



'Come All Ye Girls from Adam's Race.' A fragment, not dated, secured 
from Jennie Belvin of Durham ; lines i and 2 and the final stanza of A. 

168 
Dreary Weather 

Randolph, who reports four texts from the Ozarks (OFS iv 
234-6), points out the resemblance of various phrases in it to parts 
of other songs. Cf. also BSM 490-2. The last stanza seems to 
belong to 'The Boys Won't Do to Trust/ No. 207 in the present 
volume. 



432 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'Dreary Weather.' Sent to Dr. Brown by W. Amos Abrams, apparently 
in 1935 or 1936. After each stanza is written "repeat," which probably 
means that the last two lines are repeated. 

1 'Twas dark and dreary weather 
And most inclined to rain ; 

The clouds all float to the center ; 
My lover's gone on the train. 

2 How could he ever forget me? 
And far, far away, 

As if he had never met me 
Upon that happy golden day. 

3 Some say that gold and silver 
Will melt away like snow. 
When poverty overtakes him, 
Then he'll think of me, I know. 

4 But now I have another 
To love me just as well. 
And he'll regret the moment 
He ever said farewell. 

5 I don't see why I love him. 

I know he doesn't care for me. 
But my thoughts are always of him 
Wherever he may be. 

6 Had I the wings of an angel. 
Or even the wings of a dove, 
I'd roam this wide world over 
And rest in the arms of my love. 

7 But I must cease my singing 
And bid you all adieu. 
Beware of boys, dear girls. 
For they'll go back on you. 

169 

My Sweetheart's Dying Words 

Just this piece has not been found in other collections of folk 
song, though the general theme is familiar. The quotation marks 
indicating change of speaker are the editor's. 

'My Sweetheart's Dying Words.' Contributed by Efifie Tucker but with- 
out indication of time or place. 

I 'Dear Charlie dear, don't grieve for me, 
For, dear, I will not grieve for thee. 




WIND AND PINE 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 433 

For when I'm dead and leave this world 
I'll pray for you and the other girl. 

2 'Do you remember two years ago? 
'Twas then you said. "I love you so." 
Oh, 1 will never forget those tears 

If I would live for years and years. 

3 "Twas tears of joy, my Charlie dear, 
For those words you whispered in my ear. 
I'll tell you more, Charlie dear, 

If you will come a little nearer.' 

4 'Twas then she sighed and called to me, 
'Farewell, my dear, farewell 'twill be.' 
She then closed those eyes so blue. 
'Twas then I realized she'd been true. 

5 'Oh, will you, darling, forgive me 
For all the wrong I've treated thee? 

I thought that you were untrue to me ; 
That's why 1 went with Carryl-Lee. 

6 'Oh, no, my dear, I do love you, 
Although you're gone from me forever. 
Oh, marry her I'll never do, 

For I love you, and marry her? Never.' 

170 
The Homesick Boy 

The A text, though it appears in the Collection without any indi- 
cation of source, is probably a genuine item secured by Dr. Brown, 
who neglected or forgot to indicate whence he had it. Combs 
(FSKH 14-5) gives a text and tune from Kentucky, noting that 
he has not found it elsewhere. His text is of three stanzas and 
chorus. His stanza i is stanza i of our A, his stanza 2 is stanza 
3 of our A and 2 of our B, his stanza 3 is stanza i of our B, his 
chorus is stanza 2 of our A and 3 of our B ; the chorus of our ver- 
sions does not appear in the Kentucky text. 

A 
'Homesick Boy.' An anonymous sheet in the collection. 

I Away on a lonely river. 
Ten thousand miles away, 
I have an aged mother 
Whose locks are turning gray. 



434 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Chorus: 

Then I wish I were a little bird; 
I would fly so far away, 
I would fly to the Roanoke River, 
Ten thousand miles away. 

2 Oh, blame me not for weeping, 
Oh, blame me not, I pray, 

For I want to see my dear mother 
Whose locks are turning gray. 

3 Last night I had a letter ; 
'Twas *from my sister Mae. 
She told me of my dear mother 
Whose locks were turning gray, 

B 

'I Wish I Were a Liule Bird.' Contributed by Miss Jewell Robbins 
(afterwards Mrs. C. P. Perdue) of Pekin, Montgomery county, some 
time between 1921 and 1924. The tune was recorded in 1922. 

1 Last night while I was sleeping 

I dreamed a happy, happy dream. 
I dreamed I saw my mother 
A-praying to God for me. 

Chorus: 

I wish I was a little bird, a little bird ; 
I'd fly, I'd fly far away, 
I'd fly beyond the river. 
Ten thousand miles away. 

2 Today I had a letter. 

It was from sister dear ; 
It spoke of my dear mother. 
How I wish that she were here ! 

3 Then blame me not for weeping, 
Oh, blame me not, oh, then I say, 
For I would see my mother, 
Ten thousand miles away. 

171 

Over the Hills to the Poor-House 

Not the same thing as Will Carleton's poem of a like title, nor as 
the piece reported from Missouri (BSM 280-1); but it is to be 
found in Dean's Flying Cloud (121-2), and was printed as a broad- 
side by Wehman of New York in the nineteenth century. It is 
listed also in Miss Pound's syllabus. The text in the North Caro- 
lina collection comes from O. L. Coffey of ShuH's Mills, Watauga 
county, reported in 1939. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 435 

I Oh. yes, it is true they have driven 
Their father so helpless and old ; 
Oh, God ! may their crime he forgiven 
h^or driving him out in the cold. 
Oh, heaven! I'm saddened and weary. 
See the tears how they course down my cheeks. 
Oh, this world is lonely and dreary, 
And my heart for relief vainly seeks. 

Chorus: 

For I'm old, and I'm helpless and feeble. 
And the days of my youth have gone by ; 
And over the hills to the poor-house 
They are sending me alone there to die. 

2 Ah me ! on that old door-step yonder 
I've sat with my babes on my knee. 
No father was happier or fonder 
Than I with my little ones three. 
The boys both so rosy and chubby. 
And the darling little girl so sweet, 

God knows how their father has loved them ; 
But they have driven him out in the street. 

3 It's long years since Mary was taken. 
My faithful affectionate wife. 

Since then I'm forlorn and forsaken 
And the light has died out of my life. 
When the boys grew up to manhood 
I gave them a deed for the farm and more. 
I gave them the house they were born in ; 
And they turned me out from its door. 

4 Oh, children, will you yet hear me? 

I have journeyed along on life's stage 

With the hope that you all would l)e with me 

To comfort and cheer my old age. 

My life-blood I'd gladly have given 

To shield and j^rotect you from harm ; 

Though my heart breaks. I'll say it : 

You've driven me out here to die in the storm. 

5 But perhaps they'll live happier without me. 
Farewell, dear old home, oh. farewell : 

For over the hills to the poor-house 
I am forced to go there to dwell. 



436 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

172 

You're the Man That Stole My Wife 

This is perhaps a remnant of a ballad, perhaps no more than a 
truculent jingle. I have not found it elsewhere. 

No title. Contributed by Miss Mamie E. Cheek of Durham in 1923. 

You're the man that stole my wife, 
You're the man that stole my wife, 
You're the man that stole my wife, 
You shouldn't have 'er for to save your life. 

173 

I'm Going to Get Married Next Sunday 

This belongs to the tradition of English milkmaid songs, but is 
not often found in collections. It is known in Vermont (NGMS 
225-6), Tennessee (SharpK 11 189, with notation that it is to be 
found in Joyce's Ancient Irish Miisic, p. 14, and Sharp's Folk 
Songs from Somerset No. 3 and One Hundred English Folk Songs, 
p. 88), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 34-5, from Kentucky) ; and it is 
No. 48 in Barry's list of songs known in the North Atlantic States. 

'I'm Going to Get Married Next Sunday.' Reported by Obadiah John- 
son of Crossnore, Avery county, in 1940. "He did not sing it ; he 
does not know the air." 

1 Good morning, good morning, good morning in spring. 
I spied a fair damsel so sweetly did sing, 

Sitting under a cow milking, 

'I'm going to get married next Sunday. 

2 'My shawl and my mantle lie up in the press ; 
My true love will be here before I am dressed. 
Now it's my mind I intend to fulfill ; 

I'm going to get married next Sunday. 

3 'Next Saturday morning will take all my care 
To fold up my ribbons and comb out my hair. 
Now it's my mind I intend to fuUfiU ; 

I'm going to get married next Sunday. 

4 'Next Monday morning I'll flight up in town 

With a bunch of blue ribbons and a new-fashioned gown. 
There I'll invite all the ladies in town 
To dine at my wedding next Sunday.' 



older ballads — mostly british 437 

Katie's Secret 

For some account of the currency of this stall ballad see BSM 
215, and add to the references there given the Ozarks (OFS iv 
293-4) and Michigan (BSSM 480). Randolph (OFS in 114) re- 
ports stanza 7 of our text as a fragment of a drinking song from 
Missouri. 

'Song Ballad, Kate Seacret.' So labeled in the "faded old MS. dated 
April 22nd, 1865" from which this text is taken. It was given to Dr. 
Brown by someone whose name he forgot to record, "by whom it was 
found in an old arithmetic." 

1 The sunlight is beautiful, mother. 

And sweetly the flowers bloomed today, 
And birds in the branches of hawthornes 
Are carolling ever so gay. 

2 And down by the brook in the meadow 
The rill ripples by with its song ; 
And, mother, I too have Ijeen singing 
The merriest all the day long. 

3 Last night I was weeping, dear mother, 
Last night I was weeping alone. 

The world was so dark and so dreary ; 
My heart it grew heavy as stone. 

4 I thought of the lone and the loveless, 
All lonely and loveless as L 

I can scarce tell why it was, mother, 
But oh, I was wishing to die. 

5 Last night I was weeping, dear mother. 
When Willie came down to the gate 

And whispered, 'Come out in the moonlight; 
I've something to say to you, Kate.' 

6 Oh, mother, to him I am dearer 
Than all in this world besides. 

He told me so out in the moonlight. 
He called me his darling bride. 

7 So now I will gather me roses 

And twine in my long braided hair, 
And Willie will come in the evening 
And smile when he sees me so fair. 

8 And out in the moonlight we'll wander 
And down by the old hawthorne tree. 
Oh, mother, I wonder if any 

Were ever so happy as we. 



438 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

The Farmer's Daughter 

Randolph, who reports two texts from the Ozarks (OFS iv 
1 1 1- 12), notes that Stout found it also in Iowa. It is reported also 
from Michigan (BSSM 290-1). 

'A Farmer's Daughter.' Obtained from O. L. Coffey of Shull's Mills, 
Watauga county, in August 1939. 

1 I once did know a farmer, a good and faithful soul 

Who used to work upon his farm around his cottage home. 

He had an only daughter ; to win her I did try, 

And when I asked him for her hand, oh, this was his reply : 

Chorus: 

Treat my daughter kindly, and say you will do no harm. 
And when I die I'll leave to you my home and little farm, 
My horse, my plough, my sheep, my cow, my hogs and 

little barn. 
And all the little chickens in the garden. 

2 She and I went for the cows, we went arm in arm; 
We drove the cows together up to that little barn. 

I watched her milk her father's cows, and viewed her every 

charm, 
And many a drink of milk I got before I left that farm. 

3 Oh, now the old man has consented and married we will be ; 
We'll own the little farm ourselves, and live in harmony, 
And try to keep the promise that the old man ask[ed] of 

me. 
To use her, his only child, and treat her kindly. 



Dost think, because thou art znrtuous, there shall be no more 
cakes and ale? — Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i" 
the mouth, too. 

* I ^HAT ballad singers in North Carolina, as elsewhere, find the 
-^ tragedies of life and especially of love the most appealing sub- 
jects for song does not mean that they sang no merry ballads. They 
knew and sang, and still sing, store of merry songs, some of them 
of as venerable age as the tragic ballads. Some of them indeed 
are in the Child collection and are given above: 'The Farmer's 
Curst Wife'; 'Our Goodman,' which is a tale of cuckoldry ; 'The 
Wife Wrapt in Wether's Skin,' which tells how to deal with a 
shrewish wife; and 'Get up and Bar the Door,' which shows that 
a woman will have the last word. Other comic ballads too deal 
with domestic problems as do the tragic and romantic ballads. 'The 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 439 

Holly Twig' tells how a man ran through the whole gamut of 
marital infelicity in the successive clays of one week; 'The Dumb 
Wife' shows that a man with such a treasure should know enough 
to keep her such; 'The Old Dyer' is a fabliau, a tale of cuckoldry 
like 'Our Goodman'; 'Father Grunihle' illustrates in lively fashion 
what happens when the husbandman undertakes the housewife's 
functions ; 'Johnny Sands' and its companion piece 'The Old 
Woman's Blind Husband' tell how a woman tries to get rid of an 
undesired husband by drowning him and is instead drowned or at 
least ducked herself. A woman's determination to get herself a 
husband is presented in various ways: in 'Whistle, Daughter, 
Whistle' a girl declares herself unable to whistle in response to 
her mother's various bribes until the mother promises her a man, 
whereupon she whistles fast enough; in 'Hard of Hearing' an old 
woman recovers her hearing when she receives what she takes for 
a proposal ; 'Nobody Coming to Marry Me' is a young girl's com- 
plaint about the lack of wooers; 'Billy Grimes the Drover' satirizes 
a girl's, and her mother's, attitude on the question of marriage; 
'Grandma's Advice' and 'Common Bill' treat the girl's feeling in a 
lighter manner. There are also gibes at certain trades : in 'The 
Miller and His Three Sons' the miller examines his three sons and 
gladly wills his mill to the youngest, who vows that he'll steal all 
the corn and swear to the sack ; 'The Three Rogues' that come to a 
bad end are a miller, a weaver, and a tailor. Occasionally appear 
satires on other races or nationalities: 'Bryan O'Lynn' was origi- 
nally a gibe at the Scotch but has been transferred to the Irish; 
'The Three Jolly W^elshmen' pokes fun at the Welsh and in some 
versions at the Scotch and the Irish. The humor of exaggeration 
is exemplified in 'The Derby Ram.' 'The Swapping Song' and 
'The Good Old Man' show the singer delighting in nonsense for 
its own sake. The humors of courtship are dealt with separately 
later, in volume III. 

176 
The Derby Ram 

This bit of folk humor holds its place in the affections of the 
people pretty well. See BSM 224, and add to the references there 
given Virginia (FSV 134-6), Kentucky (BTFLS iii 95), North 
Carolina (FSRA 182), Missouri (OFS i 398-400), Ohio (BSO 
199), Indiana (BSI 319-21), and Michigan (BSSM 460-3). 

A 
'The Great Sheep.' Reported by Thomas Smith in 191 5, as sung "by 
Mrs. Polly Rayfield, who named two people she had heard sing it 40 
years earlier. Mrs. S. Chaney Smith, of Silverton, over 84 years old. 
heard it many years ago." (Mrs. Isenhour, of Zionville, also sang stanza 
3 for Dr. Brown.) 



440 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 The greatest sheep that ever was found 
Weighed eleven hundred pounds. 

Chorus: 

Urn ta diddle ta diddle urn ta diddle ta day^ 

2 Every foot it had covered an acre of ground. 

3 The wool on the sheep's back, it growed to the sky ; 

The eagles built their nests, for I heard the young ones cry. 

4 The sheep's horns, they growed to the moon ; 

They started in February and never got there till June. 

5 The wool on the sheep's belly dragged the ground. 
Wasn't that the biggest sheep ever was found ? 

B 
No title. Contributed by Wm. C. Gumming, of Brunswick county, with 
the notation: "Mother told me of a Negro song that she thought was 
brought to Kentucky by a cousin of my Grandma's, who married a 
wealthy slave owner in Louisiana. The words, which were sung to a 
weird air, are in part as follows" : 

1 As I went to Darby, sir, 
As I went one cloudy day, 
I saw the biggest ram, sir, 
That ever fed on hay. 

2 It had four feet to walk, sir, 
It had four feet to run, 
And every foot it had, sir. 
Covered an acre of ground. 

3 It had four eyes to see, sir, 
It had four eyes to see, 
And every eye it had, sir. 
Was looking straight at me. 

The tune was sung by Otis Kuykendall of West Asheville in 1939. 

177 

The Miller and His Three Sons 

This satire upon the knavery of millers is old and widely known; 
see BSM 244 and add Vermont (NGMS 11-13), Virginia (FSV 
137-8), North Carolina (FSRA 183), Florida (FSF 381-3). Indi- 
ana (HFLB III 2), and Michigan (BSSM 247-9). The ten texts 
in our collection differ chiefly in the names of the three sons (de- 

^ Dr. Brown noted here the refrain as he knew it : 
Rimy dimy dime, sir. 
Rimy dimy day. 
He was the finest sheep 
That ever was fed on hay. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 44I 

vised to rhyme respectively with "peck," "half," and "sack" or 
"all") and in the stanzaic and refrain structure. Not all of them 
need be given in full. 

A 

'The Miller and His Three Sons.' From Dr. E. E. Ericson of Chapel 
Hill, not dated. With the music as set down by R. Chase. 

1 There was an old miller and he lived all alone. 
He had three sons that were almost grown. 
He was about to make his will, 

And all that he had was a little old mill. 
Hi ! Fol ! Diddle all the day ! 

2 So he said to his oldest son, 
'Son, O son, I'm almost gone; 
And if to you this mill I take, 

Pray tell me the toll that you mean to take.' 
Hi ! Fol ! Diddle all the day ! 

3 'Father, you know my name is Jack; 
Out of a bushel I'll take a peck ; 
For if my fortune I would make, 

O that is the toll that I mean to take.' 
Hi ! Fol ! Diddle all the day ! 

4 'Son, O son, I'm afraid you're a fool; 
You have not learned to follow my rule. 
To you this mill I will not give, 

For by such a toll no man can live.' 
Hi ! Fol ! Diddle all the day ! 

5 Then he said to his second son, &c. as above 

6 'Father, you know my name is Ralph ; 

Out of a bushel I'll take a half ; &c. as above 

7 'Son, O son,' &c. as in stanza 4 above 

8 Then he said to his youngest son, &c. as above 

9 'Father, you know my name is Paul ; 
Out of a bushel I'll take it all, 

I'll take all the grain and swear by the sack 
And beat the boys when they come back.' 

Hi ! Fol ! Diddle all the day ! 
10 'Glory be to God!'^ the old man says, 

'I've got one son that's learned my ways.' 

'Hallelujah !' the old woman cried. 

And the old man straightened out his legs and he died 

Hi ! Fol ! Diddle all the day ! 

B 

'The Miller.' Reported by Jesse T. Carpenter of Durham. Does not 
differ significantly from A. 
' Or : " 'Oh, that's fine !' " 



442 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



'The Miller's Will.' Contributed by Miss Amy Henderson of Worry, 
Burke county, in 1914. The opening stanza was not remembered. The 
names are Jake (rhymes with "take"), Ralph, and Jack (rhymes with 
"sack"). The final stanza will be a sufficient specimen: 

He called to him his youngest son : 
'Son, oh, [son,] my race is run. 
If I you the miller make 
I want you to tell me what toll you'll take.' 
'Father, father, my name is Jack ; 
I'll take all the corn and swear to the sack.' 
'Hurrah! hurrah!' the old woman cried; 
The old man shut his eyes and died. 
Far-lack-a-day, far-lack-a-day. 



'The Miller.' Obtained from Frank Proffitt, Sugar Grove, Watauga 
county, in 1937. A somewhat reduced version with no refrain indicated. 
The names of the sons are Heck, Taflf, and Jack. And the point of the 
story is lost ; for the last stanza runs : 

'Pop, oh pop, my name is Jack, 
I'll take it all and swear to the sack.' 
'Son, oh son, no man can live, 
At no sich a toll no man can live.' 



'The Will of the Old Milliar.' A manuscript secured in 1913 or 1914 
from "a farmer's wife." Rudely spelled, and without any refrain indi- 
cated. The sons' names are feck, galf, and Jack. "Toll" becomes 
"tale" and "thrive" becomes "rive." But the story does not differ from 
the norm presented by other texts. 



'The Old Miller.' From Mrs. R. D. Blacknall of Durham, apparently 
in 1922 or 1923. Lacks the opening stanza ; the two older sons are Jack 
and Ralph, but the youngest is not named. Final stanza : 

He called to him his youngest son. 

Saying, 'My race is almost run. 

If I to you these mills should make, 

Tell me what toll you mean to take.' 

'Father.' said he, 'I am your boy, 

To do your will is all my joy. 

If you to me the.se mills should make, 

I'd steal the corn, and hide the sack.' 

'You are my son!' the old man said, 

'You've learned your good old father's trade ! 

You are my joy ! You are my pride !' 

Then closed his good old eyes and died. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 443 

G 

'The Old Miller Rake.' Reported by L. W. Anderson as collected by 
Delma Haywood from Mrs. Sallie Meekins of Colington on the Banks. 
Here there is no attempt to make tiie sons' names rhyme with their 
proposals for taking toll; they all claim the same name (if "Rage" in 
stanza 3 is a mere misvvriting for "Rake"). 

1 The old miller Rake, and he lived on a hill. 

He had three sons and he was going to make his will. 

2 He called up his oldest son, 
Says, 'Son, my day is almost rini. 
If to you my will I make, 

Now pray tell me the toll you will take.' 

3 'Father, you know my name is Rage ; 
For one bushel I'll take one peck.' 

'The mill hain't yours,' the old man cried. 
'By such a toll no man can abide.' 

4 He called up his second son, 
Says, 'Son, my day is almost run. 
If to you this will I make, 

Now pray tell me the toll you'll take.' 

5 'Father, you know my name is Rake. 
From one bushel I'll take two pecks.' 
'The mill hain't yours,' the oldliian cried. 
'By such a toll no man can abide.' 

6 He called up his youngest son, 
Says, 'Son, my days are almost run. 
Now to you this will I make. 

Now pray tell me the toll you'll take.' 

7 'Father, you know my name is Rake, 
And from one bushel I'll take three pecks; 
And if they grumble much at that 

I'll take the whole and swear to the sack.' 

8 'The mill is yours,' the old man cried. 
So he shut his eyes and died. 

Fol de .... rol .... d ... . ride.- 

H 
•The Miller's Will.' Reported by J. E. Massey of Elon College as 
"recited to me by J. W. Massey, December 28, 1916." Here the sons 
have no names and their replies are limited to a single line each ; and 
there is a rather lengthy refrain. The closing section will sufficiently 
illustrate its method : 

He called to his youngest son 
And says, 'My cup is almost run. 

* This last line looks like an indication of a refrain ; but if so, one 
wonders just where it comes in, and why it was not indicated earlier. 



444 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Pray tell me how much toll do you mean for to take,' 
'I'll take the whole and swear to the sack.' 

Chorus: 

To my foddle dinky day 

To my foil doll doll doll doddle dinky day 

'Ho, ho !' the old man says, 

'You have fully learnt my trade, 

So unto you tlie mill I decide.' 

And the old man closed his eyes and died. 

Chorus: 

1 
The Miller and His Three Sons.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton, but she 
does not tell where and when she found it. There is no refrain. The 
oldest son is named Heck, which supplies a satisfactory rhyme for 
"peck." Otherwise it agrees fairly well with A. The opening stanza, 
however, has a reminiscence of another miller song in its second line. 
The stanza runs : 

There was an old miller and he lived at the mill, 
And the wheel goes around with a right good will. 
He was about to die and he had to make his will. 
And all that he had was his little old mill. 

J 
'The Miller and His Three Sons.' From Alexander Tugman of Todd. 
Ashe county. The refrain runs : "I rec ko rek tum I rin ko ry do." 

178 

I Tuck Me Some Corn to the County Seat 
This is a form of the familiar gibe at the cheating miller, a 
charge as old at least as The Canterbury Tales and still current in 
folk song as 'The Miller and His Three Sons.' But this particular 
form of the gibe I have not found elsewhere. 

No title except the first line. Dr. Brown contributed it to the Collection, 
but without noting whence he got it. The two halves of the last line 
should, one supposes, be transposed. 

I tuck me some corn to the county seat. 
Three bushel of corn, three bushel of wheat. 
The miller tuck fur his millin^turn 
Three bushel of corn, three bushel of wheat. 

179 
The Old Dyer 
Also known as 'The Dog in the Closet.' For it origin and his- 
tory, see Barry's note on the Vermont version, NGMS 125. Morris 
reports a quite different version from Florida, FSF 371-2. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 445 

The Old Dyer.' Contributed by Miss Laura Matthews, Durham (later 
Mrs. E. J. Stephenson). The two halves of the fourth stanza seem to 
have been transposed. 

1 There was an old dyer who had a young wife. 
They lived together a quarrelsome life. 

Old dyer got mad. and 'twas not without cause ; 
It was the young hatter who pled the great pause.^ 

Toodle li day, li toodle li doodle 

Li doodle li doodle li doodle li day. 

2 Old dyer came home with his neighbor that night. 
He swore by the way he'd show them a sight, 
He'd show them a sight, he swore by the way, 
He'd kept him locked up in the cupboard all day, 

3 And this young wife got in a sad pout. 
She tried almost every key in the house ; 

At last she found one that would unlock the door. 
She gave the young hatter his freedom once more. 

4 Old dyer stepped up, so bold and so stout ; 

He opened the door and the doggie jumped out. 
To save her own credit and hide her disgrace 
She locked the great master dog up in his place. 

5 Says this young wife, 'You've pled a great strife. 
You've pled a great strife on your loving wife. 
If you'll do so no more I'll pardon you for this.* 
And the old fool embraced her with a sweet kiss. 



i8o 
Father Grumble 

This is perhaps the best title for those versions of the story of 
the farmer turned housewife that are traditional in this country. 
For the history of the story in ballad print, se» Kittredge's note in 
JAFL XXVI 364-5 ; for its appearance as traditional song, see BSM 
225, and add to the references there given Massachusetts (FSONE 
248-50), Virginia (FSV 162-3), Arkansas (OFS i 321-3), Mis- 
souri (OFS I 318-20), Ohio (BSO 135-6), and Michigan (BSSM 
415-16). St. John Honeywood of Massachusetts about a hundred 
and fifty years ago dressed it up as 'Darby and Joan,' and his 
version has achieved something like traditional currency; at least, 
a text clearly enough derived from it is one of the items in our 
North Carolina collection. 

^ The Vermont text makes this intelligible : "It was the young hatter 
that gave him the cause." The manuscript has 'hater' for 'hatter' 
throughout. The refrain is repeated after each stanza. 



446 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

A 

'Darby and Joan.' Reported by Miss Amy Henderson of Worry, Burke 
county. This is clearly Honeywood's piece, though it has suffered some 
slight losses in its descent through the memory of singers. It is in 
couplets of four-stress lines, the favorite verse form of eighteenth-century 
tales and apologues. 

When Darby saw the setting sun, 

He swung his scythe and home he run ; 

Sat down, drank off his pint, and said, 

'My work is done ; I'll go to bed.' 

' "My work is done," ' retorted Joan, 

' "My work is done" your constant tone ; 

But helpless woman ne'er can say 

"My work is done" till judgment day.' 

Here Darby hemmed and scratched his head 

To answer what his Joan had said. 

But all in vain ; her clack went on. 

'Yes, woman's work is never done.' 

At early dawn, ere Phoebus rose, 

Old Joan resumed her tale of woes, 

When Darby said: 'I'll end the strife. 

Be you the man and I the wife. 

Take you the scythe and mow, while I 

Will all your boasted cares supply,' 

'Content,' quoth Joan ; 'give me thy flint.' 

This Darby did, and out she went. 

Darby arose and seized the broom 

And whirled the dirt about the room. 

Which having done, he scarce knew how, 

He tried to milk the brindle cow ; 

The brindle cow whisked round her tail 

In Darby's eyes, and kicked the pail. 

The clown, perplexed with grief and pain. 

Swore he'd ne'er try to milk again. 

When, turning round in sad amaze, 

He saw his cottage in a blaze ; 

For, as he chanced to brush the room 

In careless haste, he fired the broom. 

The fire at last subdued, he swore 

The broom and he should meet no more. 

Pressed by misfortune and perplexed. 

Darby prepared for breakfast next ; 

But what to get he scarcely knew ; 

The bread was spent, the butter too. 

His hands bedaubed with paste and flour 

Old Darby laboured full an hour, 

But, hapless wight, he could not make 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 447 

The bread take form of loaf or cake. 

As every door wide open stood 

In came the sow in quest of food 

And, stunibHng onward, with her snout 

Overset the churn ; the cream ran out. 

As Darby turned the sow to beat 

The sHppery cream betrayed his feet ; 

He caught the bread trough in his fall 

And down came Darby, trough and all. 

The children, wakened by the clatter, 

Start up and cry, 'La. what's the matter?' 

Old Jowler barked, the tabby mewed, 

And hapless Darby brawled aloud : 

'Return, my Joan, as heretofore ; 

I'll play the housewife's part no more. 

Since now, by sad experience taught. 

Compared to thine my work is naught. 

Henceforth as business calls I'll take, 

Content, the plough, the scythe, the rake. 

And never will transgress the line 

Our fates have marked, while thou art mine. 

I'll vex thy honest soul no more 

By scolding as I've done before. 

Let each our proper task attend, 

Forgive the past, and try to mend.' 



'Old Summerfield.' This text also was secured by Miss Henderson. It 
■differs from A (as do also the other versions following), being in the 
tradition of other texts secured in America, which go back apparently 
to the Scottish form 'John Grumlie.' 

1 Old Summerfield swore by the sun and the moon 
And the green leaves on the tree 

That he could do more work in one day 
Than his wife could do in three. 

2 'Be it so,' the old woman said, 
'But that I'll not allow. 

You can stay in the house today 
And I'll go follow the plow. 

3 'You must milk the Teeny cow. 
For fear she does go dry ; 

And you must feed the little pigs 
That are within the sty. 

4 'You must watch the speckled hen, 
For fear she lays astray ; 

And you must wind the bobbin of thread 
That I spun yesterday.' 



448 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

5 The old woman took her staff in her hand 
To go and follow the plow. 

The old man took the pail in his hand 
To milk the Teeny cow. 

6 Tenny inched and Teeny winced 
And Teeny curled her tail ; 

She gave the old man such a kick in the face 
It made him drop his pail, 

7 *Wosh, Teeny, soo, Teeny, 
My good little cow, stand still. 
If ever 'I do milk you again 
It'll be against my will.' 

8 The old man took the tray on his head 
To give the pigs their hire ; 

The old sow ran between his legs 
And threw him in the mire, 

9 The old man watched the speckled hen 
For fear she laid astray, 

But forgot to wind the bobbin of thread 
That his wife spun yesterday. 

10 Old Summerfield swore by the sun and the moon 
And the green leaves on the tree 
That his wife could do more work in one day 
Than he could do in three. 



No title. Communicated by Mamie Mansfield, a Trinity College stu- 
dent; date not noted. Essentially the same text as B; but Tenny jumped 
and ran round the hill instead of kicking the old man in the face, and 
when the sow ran under him she "kicked him up sky-high" instead of 
throwing him into the mire. 



'Old Summa.' From Miss Carrie Strope. Only a four-stanza fragment, 
agreeing so far as it goes with B. 



181 
Johnny Sands 

For the currency of this bit of domestic satire on both sides of 
the water and in print as well as in tradition, see BSM 237 and 
add to the references there given Virginia (FSV 165), Florida 
(FSF 368-70), Missouri (OFS iv 246-7), Ohio (BSO 89-90), 
Indiana (BSI 262-3), and Illinois (JAFL lx 204). It is listed also 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 449 

as found in Michigan (BSSM 480), but the text is not given. The 
texts do not vary greatly from place to place, probably because 
they all derive by no great number of stages from print. Accord- 
ingly not all the North Carolina texts are given in full. 



•Johnny Vands.' Submitted by Mrs. Donald MacRea in 1917 as given 
her by Betty Coffey of Avery county. 

1 Johnny Vands he married a wife, 
Whose name was Becky Hays. 
Altho she was a scolding wife 
She brought him house and lands. 

2 One day said he, 'I tire of life.' 
Said she. 'I tire of you.' 

'I'll drown myself at Carts,' said he. 
'I'll help you all I can,' said she. 

3 Then hand in hand they went 
Down by the water side. 

'Twas his intent to drown himself, 
It cannot I)€ denied. 

4 'So tie my hands behind my back. 
Be sure I cannot swim.' 

She tied his hands behind his back, 
And 'twas securely done. 
'Stand you here upon the bank 
While I prepare to run.' 

5 She came running down the hill 
With all her force to push him in. 

He stepped aside 

And she went in, of course. 

6 All in the deep he heard her say 
*Oh help me out, my sugar Jack.' 
'I can't,' said he, 'for you have tied 
My hands behind my back.' 



'Johnny Sands.' A clipping supplied by Professor White from the Neio 
York Times Book Revieiv for October 3, 1920, with the notation : 'This 
text is exactly as I learned it long ago from a book." Four eight-line 
stanzas, with the tune. The actors here are Johnny Sands and Betty 
Hague. 

C 

'Johnny Sands.' From Miss Mary Morrow of Greensboro, Guilford 
county, in 1928. Six stanzas. The wife's name here is Betty Spray. 
The last stanza has a touch of the picturesque: 



450 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Then splashing, dashing, Hke a fish, 
*0, save me, Johnny Sands !' 
*I can't, my dear, though much I wish, 
For you have tied my hands.' 

When Professor White made a record of this he used, he says, a 
slightly different text in that the last line of each stanza is three times 
repeated. 



•Johnny Sams.' From James York of Iredell county, 1939. Seven 
stanzas, of which the last is Johnny's jeer: 

'Float on, float on, my tender bride, 
Away to some foreign land; 
And when you get to the land of rest 
Please write for Johnny Sams.' 

182 
The Old Woman's Blind Husband 

This is an alternative form of the Johnny Sands story, in which 
the wife blinds her husband instead of tying his hands. It goes by 
various names : in Scotland it is called 'The Wily Auld Carle' or 'The 
Wife of Kelso,' in Maine 'The Old Woman of Dover,' in Kentucky 
'The Old Woman of London,' in Ohio 'The Old Woman of Slapsa- 
dam.' See BSM 237, and add to the references there given Maine 
(FSONE 255-8), Virginia (SharpK i 349, FSV 164-5), North 
Carolina (SharpK i 238-349, FSRA 79-80), Arkansas (OFS iv 
248-9), Missouri (Hoosier Folklore v 34), Ohio (JAFL xl 40-1, 
BSO 90-1), and Indiana (Leah J. Wolford's The Play-Party in 
Indiana 93). In Ohio and Indiana it is a play-party song. There 
is among the manuscripts of our collection a single stanza of the 
A version with no name attached but probably from H. C. Martin 
of Lenoir, written out with the tune. 

A 
The Old Woman's Blind Husband.' Contributed by J. W. Brady of 
Durham. With the tune, as sung by Mrs. O. D. Barnett of Durham in 
1921. 

1 There was an old woman in our town, 
In our town did dwell. 

She loved her dearest husband 
But another man twice as well. 

Chorus: 

Oh sing tid-e-ree-um, tid-e-ree-um, 
mac-falu-falai. 

2 She went down to the doctor's shop 
To see what she could find. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 45I 

To see if she could find anything 
To make her old man blind. 

3 She found six dozen old beef bones 
And made him chew them all. 

He says, 'Old woman, I am so blind 
I can't see you at all.' 

4 He says, 'Old woman, I'd drown myself 
If I could only see.' 

She says, 'My dearest husband, 
I'll go show you the way.' 

5 She took him by the hand 
And led him to the brim. 

He says, 'Old woman, I'll drown myself 
If you will push me in.' 

6 The old woman stepped a little one side 
To give a rounding spring; 

The old man stepped a little one side. 
And she went a-bouncing in. 

7 Then she bawled out, she squalled out 
As loud as she could bawl. 

He says, 'Old woman, I am so blind 
I can't see you at all.' 

8 The old man being goodnatured 
And thought that she might swim 
He goes and gets a good long pole 
And pushed her further in. 



'The Old Woman's Blind Husband.' Reported by Julian P. Boyd of 
Alliance, Pamlico county, in 1927, from James Tingle, one of his students. 

1 There was a rich lady, 

At Richmond did she dwell. 
She loved her husband dearly 
But another man twice as well. 

Chorus: 

Oh, sing dory, the ring ding dory, 
Oh, sing dory, the ring ding dory, oh! 

2 She went into a blacksmith shop 
To see what she could find ; 
Something rather special. 

To make her old man blind. 



452 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 She found three old marrow bones. 
She told him to eat them all. 

And when he ate the last one 
He could not see at all. 

4 Her husband was so down-hearted 
When he found he could not see 
He said, 'I'll go and drown myself, 
And that will be the last of me.' 

5 Then, going to the water. 
So sweetly did she sing: 

'The old man is going to drown himself, 
And I'll go push him in.' 

6 But when they got to the water. 
Standing on the brink. 

The old man shoved her in 
And calmly watched her sink. 

7 When she struck the water 
So loudly did she squeal 
'Oh, my dearest husband, 

I cannot swim at all.' 

8 But he was a man so tender-hearted. 
He saw she could not swim ; 

He picked up a little stick 
And pushed her farther in. 

9 Now this must end my story; 
I won't sing any more 
About the silly woman 

Who could not swim ashore. 

183 

The Dumb Wife 

Though this quip about women's tongues is old, it is not often 
found in modern ballad collections. There is a seventeenth-century 
broadside of it in the Roxburghe Ballads (iv 357-9, where, on the 
preceding page, Ebsworth prints the modern stall-ballad form of it, 
much the same as our texts) and it is found in Joyce's Old Irish 
Folk Music and Song, pp. 196-7. The Journal of the English 
Folk-Song Society does not record it. Barry knew it (it is No. yy 
in his list of Folk-Songs of the North Atlantic States) but does 
not appear to have printed it. Davis reports it from Virginia 
(FSV 161), Morris from Florida (FSF 379-8i), and Randolph 
from Missouri (OFS iii 119-20). Brewster found it in Indiana 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 453 

(JAFL LVii 282-3, SFLQ v 181-2). And these are the only traces 
of it that I have found in America. There are two texts of it in 
the North Carolina collection. 



'The Dumb Girl.' Reported by K. P. Lewis of Durham as set down 
by Dr. Kemp P. Battle of Chapel Hill in 1910. 

1 O ye that pass along ! Come listen to my song 
Concerning of a youth that was young, young, young, 
And of a maiden fair, few with her that could compare — 
But alack and alas ! She was dumb, dumb, dumb ! 

2 At length this country blade did wed this pretty maid 
And proudly conducted her home, home, home. 
Thus in her beauty bright lay all his chief delight. 
But alack and alas ! She was dumb, dumb, dumb ! 

3 Let me make it plain to you that the work this maid 

could do 
This a pattern ought to be for maidens young, young, 

young. 
Oh, she both day and night in working took delight. 
But alack and alas ! She was dumb, dumb, dumb ! 

4 She could brew and she could bake, she could wash and 

wring and shake. 
And she could sweep the house with a broom, broom, 

broom ; 
She could knit and sew and spin and do all that kind of 

thing ; 
But alack and alas ! She was dumb, dumb, dumb ! 

5 At length this man did go to a doctor skilled to know. 
Saying, 'Doctor, can you cure a woman who is dumb, dumb, 

dumb ?' 
He replied, 'The easiest part that belongs unto my heart^ 
Is the curing of a woman who is dumb, dumb, dumb.' 

6 To the doctor he did her bring, and he cut her chattering 

string. 
And then he set her tongue on the run. run, run. 
In the morning she did arise, and she filled his house with 

cries. 
And she rattled in his ears like a drum, drum, drum. 

7 To the doctor he did go with his heart all full of woe. 
Saying, 'Doctor, oh, I am undone, done, done ; 

She has turned a scolding wife, and I'm weary of my life 
If I cannot make her hold her tongue, tongue, tongue.' 

^ So the manuscript reads ; but surely it is miswritten, or misheard, 
for "art." 



454 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

8 But the doctor then did say, 'When from me she went 

away 
She was perfectly cured of her dumb, dumb, dumb ; 
But it is beyond the art of man, let him do whate'er he can, 
To make a scolding wife hold her tongue, tongue tongue.' 

9 I heard the doctor say, before he went away, 
'The oil of hickory is strong, strong, strong. 

Just anoint her body round until the rooms begin to sound ; 
It may make a scolding wife hold her tongue, tongue, 
tongue.' 



'The Bonnie Blade.' From the singing of Mrs. N. T. Byers of Durham 
in 1921. J. E. Massey of Caswell county notes regarding it: "The above 
ballad was recited to me by my grandfather, J. W. Massey, Dec. 28, 
1916." It is considerably shorter than Dr. Battle's version. 

1 There was a bonnie blade 
That married a country maid 

And safely conducted her home, home, home. 

2 She was neat in every part 
And pleased him to the heart, 

But hae, hae, alas ! she was dumb, dumb, dumb. 

3 To the doctor he goes. 
With his heart full of woes. 

Saying, 'Doctor, my wife is dumb, dumb, dumb.' 

4 And the doctor he did come. 

Cut loose the chattering string of her tongue, 
And that set her tongue at liberty, ty, ty. 

5 She picked up the broom 

And began to sweep the house (room?) 
And made it rattle like a drum, drum, drum. 

6 To the doctor he goes 
With his heart full of woes : 

'I'd give anything again if she was dumb, dumb, dumb.' 



184 
The Holly Twig 

So It seems best to call this old song, though the phrase does not 
occur in our North Carolina copies. In its shorter nursery rhyme 
form (Halliwell 29-30) it is familiar. As 'The Holly Twig' it is 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 455 

known in Hampshire (JFSS iii 315-16, where the notes shovy that 
it is also found in Baring-Gould's Songs of the West), and it has 
been reported in this country from Virginia (SharpK 11 341-3, 
FSV 161, OSC 134-5), North Carolina (FSRA 77-8), Georgia 
(FSSH 154-5), Mississippi (JAFL xxix 155-6, FSM 174-5), 
Missouri (OFS in 71-2), and Indiana (SFLQ v 183-4), and as 
sung by Negroes (Talley 145-6). 



'When I was a Bachelor.' Obtained from Miss Penelope Nichols of 
Durham county in May 1920. 

1 When I was a bachelor bold and young 
I courted a gal wMth a flattering tongue ; 

She said she would have me, but she didn't say when, 
And the kisses I gave her were a hundred and ten. 

2 So, Monday morning I married my wife, 
Hoping for to spend a happy life 
Fiddling and dancing and many fine ways 
To see how merry we were made. 

3 So, Tuesday morning I carried her home. 
'Stead of a wife she was a scolding Joan. 
She tuned up a prattle, and she scolded more 
Than I think I ever heard in my life before. 

4 So, Wednesday morning I went to the wood, 
Hoping that she would prove good. 

I cut me a hickory, 'twas of the willow green, 

And I think it was the keenest that I ever have seen. 

5 So, Thursday morning I whipped her well. 
Whipped her more than tongue could tell ; 
Told her if she didn't prove better to be 

The devils might come and take her 'way from me. 

6 So, Friday morning at break of day 
Sleeping old Jonah on the pillow lay ; 

The buggars and the ruggars and the little devils came 
And carried her away in a shower of rain. 

7 So, Saturday morning I was left all alone. 
Neither a wife nor a scolding Joan. 

My biggest bottle was my best friend, 
And my week's work was at an end. 

B 

'Monday Morning I Got Me a Wife.' Contributed by Miss Eliza A. 
Pool of Raleigh. Substantially the same as A except that it lacks the 



456 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

first Stanza; but the minor variations of language are interesting as 
showing how texts change in oral tradition. In this version the last 
line of each stanza is repeated by way of a refrain. 

1 Monday morning I got me a wife, 
Hoping to spend a happy, happy life. 

Music and dancing and all things were played. 
To think how happy I was made! 

2 Tuesday morning I brought her home, 
Instead of a wife a scolding Joan. 

She rattled up her clapper and scolded more 
Than ever I had heard in my life before. 

3 Wednesday morning I took her to the wood. 
Hoping there she might prove good ; 

I cut a switch from the willow, willow green, 
I think it was as keen a one as ever I had seen. 

4 Thursday morning I whipped her well, 

I whipped her more than tongue can tell ; 

I told her if she didn't better be 

Old Harry would come and take her from me. 

5 Friday morning at break of day, 
As on her pillow she scolding lay. 
Goblins and furies and little devils came 
And took her ofT in a shower of rain. 

6 Saturday morning I breakfasted alone 
Without my wife or scolding Joan. 

My very biggest bottle was my very best friend, 
And so it must be to the end. 

185 

Nobody Coming to Marry Me 

The marriageable girl's impatience over the lack of wooers is 
the theme of divers songs. This particular development of the 
theme was probably originally a stage song. Kittredge in a bib- 
liographical note on a two-line fragment of it reported by Tolman 
as remembered in Ohio in 1835 (JAFL xxix 187) lists various 
garland and songbook prints of it both English and American, one 
of them as sung in New York in 181 1 by Mrs. Poe — mother of the 
poet, who was something of a stage favorite at the time. 

'My Father's a Hedger and Ditcher.' Contributed by Mrs. R. D. Black- 
nail of Durham as one of the songs she learned from her mother. "I 
know nothing of their origin. She sang them, to my knowledge, since 
1862," says Mrs. Blacknall. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 457 

1 My father's a hedger and ditcher ; 
My mother does nothing but spin ; 
And I am a handsome young lassie, 
But money comes slowly in. 

Chorus: 

And it's oh, dear, what will become of me? 
Oh, dear, what shall I do? 
There's nobody coming to marry me, 
There's nobody coming to woo. 

2 Last night the dogs did bark. 
I went to the window to see. 
Someone was going a-hunting, 
But no one was hunting for me. 

1 86 

Whistle, Daughter, Whistle 

The notes on this in SharpK show that it is well known in the 
old country; Newell, Gam£s and Songs of Atnerican Children 96-7, 
gives it as sung by children in New York ; it is known also in Vir- 
ginia (SharpK 11 169, FSV 232), Kentucky (SFLQ vi 257-9), 
North Carolina (SHF 24-5), Florida (FSF 420), Arkansas (OFS 
I 412), and Missouri (OFS i 410-11). Another form of the same 
joke, 'Lazy Mary,' is reported from Massachusetts (FSONE 31-3), 
Arkansas (OFS in 121-2), Indiana (JAFL xlix 254-5), and 
Nebraska (JAFL xxviii 273-4). It appears three times in our 
collection, but as the three texts are identical only the first is given. 

A 

'Whistle, Daughter.' Contributed by Miss Lucille Massey of Durham. 

1 'Whistle, daughter, whistle, and I'll give you a pin.' 
'I cannot whistle, mother, neither can I spin.' 

2 'Whistle, daughter, whistle, and I'll give you a book.' 
'I cannot whistle, mother, neither can I cook.' 

3 'Whistle, daughter, whistle, and I'll give you a sheep.' 
'I cannot whistle, mother, neither can I sweep.' 

4 'Whistle, daughter, whistle, and I'll give you a cow.' 
'I cannot whistle, mother, indeed I don't know how.' 

5 'Whistle, daughter, whistle, and I'll give you a man.' 
'I cannot whistle, mother, but I'll do the best I can.' 

{Last line whistled) 



'Whistle, Daughter.' From Miss Lura Wagoner, Vox, Alleghany county. 
Text as in A. 



458 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

C 

•Whistle, Daughter.' From Miss Amy Henderson, Worry, Burke county, 
in 1914. Text as in A. 

187 

Hard of Hearing 

The note on this in SharpK (where it is reported, 11 252, from 
North Carolina) shows that it is known in Scotland and in Eng- 
land. In this country it has not often been reported by collectors — 
very likely because, like many of the Mother Goose rhymes, it is 
so familiar. Texts have been published from Arkansas (OFS iii 
40) and from Missouri (BSM 265, OFS iii 39), and Davis (FSV 
235) reports it from Virginia. 

'Old Woman.' From the manuscripts of Obadiah Johnson of Crossnore. 
Avery county, who had it from the singing of Ethel Burleson and Joe 
Powles. It is pure dialogue throughout. Each line is repeated once, 
so that it runs in couplets, but this repetition is not given in our print. 

'Old w^oman, old woman, are you fond of smoking?' 
'Speak a little louder, sir ; I am very hard of hearing,' 
'Old woman, old woman, are you fond of quilting?' 
'Speak a little louder, sir ; I am very hard of hearing.' 
'Old woman, old woman, are you fond of courting?' 
'Speak a little louder, sir; I've just begun to hear you.* 
'Old woman, old woman, would you like to marry?' 
'Lock a mas upon my soul,^ now I think I hear you.* 

188 

The Three Rogues 

This song is widely known both in England and in America. See 
BSM 268, and add to the references there given Maine (FSONE 
213-14), Virginia (FSV 136-7), North Carolina (FSRA 185), the 
Ozarks (OFS i 416), and Ohio (BSO 177-8). 



'In the Good Old Colony Times.' Copied by K. P. Lewis from the 
manuscript book of Dr. Kemp P. Battle of Chapel Hill in 1914. "In 
the singing," says the manuscript, "clap your paw on one of your audi- 
ence." The last lines of each stanza are repeated as indicated in stanza i. 

I In the good old colony times, 
When we were under the king. 
Three roguish chaps fell into mishaps 
Because they could not sing. 
Because they could not sing, 
Because they could not sing. 
Three roguish chaps fell into mishaps 
Because they could not sing. 
* This is a corruption of "Lord have mercy upon my soul." 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 459 

2 Now the first he was a miller, 
And the second he was a weaver, 
And the third he was a little tai-lor — 
Three roguish chaps together, 

3 Now the miller he stole corn, 
And the weaver he stole yarn, 

And the little tailor stole broadcloth 
For to keep the three rogues warm. 

4 The miller got drowned in his pond. 
And the weaver got hung in his web, 
And the little tai-lor went down below 
With the broadcloth under his arm. 

With the broadcloth under his arm. 

With the broadcloth under his arm. 

And Satan clapped his claws on the little tai-lor 

With the broadcloth under his arm. 



'Colony Times.' Contributed by Miss Eula Todd of Jeflferson, Ashe 
county, in 1921. The same as A except that it has "dam" instead of 
"pond" in the last stanza and ends : 

But the divil clept his claw on the little tailor 
With a broadcloth under his arm. 

c 

The Three Rogues.' From Mrs. J. J. Miller (Mrs. Sutton's Myra 
Barnett), Caldwell county, in 1921. Mrs. Miller recalled but one stanza, 
as follows : 

The first was a miller and he stole yarn. 
The second was a weaver and he stole corn, 
The third was a tailor and he stole cloth 
To keep those three rogues warm. 

D 
'In Good Old Colony Times.' From Miss Amy Henderson of Worry, 
Burke county, in 1914. The same as B except that it does not indicate 
the repetition by way of refrain. 

189 
Bryan O'Lynn 

This bit of satire — originally on the Scots, later adapted to the 
Irish — goes back to the sixteenth century, and is known still in 
Scotland and England as well as in America. See BSM 501, and 
add to the references there given Connecticut (JAFL liv 83-4). 
Kentucky (OSC 117-18), and Missouri (OFS iii 231-2). 



460 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

'Bryan O'Lynn.' Reported by K. P. Lewis as set down from the sing- 
ing of Dr. Kemp P. Battle of Chapel Hill in 1910. 

1 Bryan O'Lynn had no breeches to wear, 

So he got him a sheepskin and made him a pair 
With the skinny side out and the woolly side in ; 
'They are nice, light, and thin,' said Bryan O'Lynn. 

2 Bryan O'Lynn had no coat to put on, 

So he got him a goat skin and made him a one 
And planted the horns right under his chin ; 
'They'll take them for pistols,' said Bryan O'Lynn. 

3 Bryan O'Lynn had no watch for to wear, 

So he got him a turnip and scooped it out fair ; 
He planted a ticket close under the skin : 
'They'll think it's a-tickin',' said Bryan O'Lynn. 

4 Bryan O'Lynn had to bring his wife home ; 

He had but one horse, and he was all skin and bone. 

'I'll set her before me as neat as a pin. 

And her mother behind me,' said Bryan O'Lynn. 

5 Bryan O'Lynn and his wife and his mother 
Were all going over the bridge together. 

The bridge it fell down and they all tumbled in ; 
'We'll find ground at the bottom,' said Bryan O'Lynn. 

190 

Three Jolly Welshmen 

This humorous hunting song exists in two traditional forms ; see 
BSM 246, and add to the references there given Vermont (NGMS 
127-9), Massachusetts (FSONE 290-2), Virginia (FSV 198, 208), 
North Carolina (FSRA 174-5, the "Reynard" form), Missouri 
(OFS I 328), and Ohio (BSO 208-9). It goes back, as Barry 
(NGMS 128-9) has pointed out, to a seventeenth-century broadside, 
'A Choice of Inventions,' Roxburghe Ballads i 104-10. The three 
are not always Welshmen; they are likely to be an Englishman, a 
Scot, and an Irishman; but even in the Roxburghe ballad they go 
a-hunting on St. David's day. Of the five texts in our collection 
the first two belong to the "jolly Welshmen" tradition, the other 
three to the "Reynard" tradition. 



Three Jolly Welshmen.' Contributed by E. G. Taylor, unfortunately 
without indication of time or place. 

I Three jolly Welshmen, jolly men were they, 
All went a-hunting on a summer's day. 
Look a there now, look a there. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 461 

They hunted, whooped, and hallooed, and the first thing 

they did find 
Was a frog in a spring, and that they left behind. 
Look a there now, look a there. 

One said it was a frog, one said nay. 

One said it was a bluebird with its feathers washed away. 

Look a there now, look a there. 

They hunted, whooped, and hallooed, and the next thing 

they did find 
Was a barn in a cornfield, and that they left behind. 
Look a there now, look a there. 

One said it was a barn, one said nay, 

One said it was a church with the steeple blown away. 

Look a there now, look a there. 

They hunted, whooped, and hallooed, and the next thing 

they did find 
Was an owl in an ivy bush, and that they left behind. 
Look a there now, look a there. 

One said it was an owl, one said nay, 
One said the devil, and they all ran away. 
Look a there now, look a there. 



'We Hunted and We Hollered.' Contributed by Isabel B. Busbee of 
Raleigh, with the notation that it was sung by her great-aunt, who died 
in 1914. 

1 And we hunted and we hollered, and first thing we did find 
Was the barn in the barnyard, and that we left behind. 

Lookee-da ! 

One said it was a barn, and the other said nay, 
He said it was a church with the steeple blown away. 
Lookee-'da-ah-ah-ah-ah ! 

2 And we hunted and we hollered, and the next thing we did 

find 
Was the moon in the elements, and that we left behind. 

Lookee-da ! 
One said it was a moon, and the other said nay, 
He said it was a green cheese with one half cut away. 

Lookee-da-ah-ah-ah-ah ! 

3 And we hunted and we hollered, and the next thing we did 

find 



462 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Was the lighthouse on Cape Ann, and that we left behind. 

Lookee-da ! 
One said it was a lighthouse, and the other said nay, 
He said it was a sugarloaf with the paper blown away. 

Lookee-da-ah-ah-ah-ah ! 

4 And we hunted and we hollered, and the next thing we did 

find 
Was the frog in the millpond, and that we left behind. 

Lookee-da ! 
One said it was a frog, and the other said nay, 
He said it was a canary with the feathers washed away. 

Lookee-da-ah-ah-ah-ah ! 

5 And we hunted and we hollered, and the last thing we did 

find 
Was the owl in the ivy, and that we left behind. 

Lookee-da ! 
One said it was an owl, and the other said nay, 
He said it was the devil, and we all ran away. 

Lookee-da-ah-ah-ah-ah ! 

c 

'The Fox Chase.' Secured by Thomas Smith from Mrs. Julia Grogan 
of Zionville, Watauga county, in 1915. "She heard it over thirty years 
ago." This belongs to the "Reynard" tradition. 

1 The first I saw was a maiden a-combing of her locks. 
She said she saw Ben Reynor among the geese and ducks. 

Chorus: 

Tuma boat toat tum a ha la and around the narrow 

strand 
Rum a runtum his a tif a tan trum tum a rainbow round 
The bugle sound and through the woods he ran and 

very wild he ran. 

2 The next I saw was a teamster a-driving of his team. 
He said he saw Ben Reynor a-running up the stream. 

3 The next I saw was a hunter a-hunting with his gun. 
He said he saw Ben Reynor and shot him as he run. 

D 

'Come All Ye Jolly Sportsmen.' From a manuscript notebook lent to 
Dr. White in 1943 by Mrs. Harold Glasscock of Raleigh. Most or all 
of her songs Mrs. Glasscock learned from her parents. This text is close 
to that printed by Barry in JAFL xxvii 71-2 as sung in Cambridge. 
Massachusetts, but is incomplete — "all I recall." 

T Come all ye jolly sportsmen who love to chase the fox, 
Who love to run poor redman among the hills and rocks. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 463 

Chorus: 

Come a whoop whoop and a heighlo while on the merry 

stream 
Come a ran tan tan come a ripy tily tipy 
And away with a royal bow wow wow 
Come a ruddle toodle toodle and a bugle horn 
Sing whack fuh la and \\ de o 
Through the woods we'll run, brave boys, 
And through the woods we'll run. 

2 First I met was a farmer a-plowing up his ground. 

He said he saw poor redman as he went round and round. 

3 Next I saw was a fair lady a-combing back her locks. 
She said she saw poor redman among the geese and ducks. 

E 
The Fox Hunt.' Collected by Julian P. Boyd from one of his pupils 
at the school in Alliance, Pamlico county. The chorus is much the 
same as m D. 

Chorus: 

He whooped and he whooped and he hollered 
Way down by the merry stream. 
Come rang tang tang come tip a tip a tan 
And away with roaring bow-wow dogs 
Come yudle yudle yudle with the bugle horn 
Through the woods we'll go, brave boys, 
Through the woods we'll go. 

1 First came the blind man, as blind as he could be, 
He said he saw the foxes climb up a swiggum^ tree. 

Come rang tang tang etc. 

2 Next came the sailors, sailing in a boat. 

They said they saw the foxes a-going on a float. 
Come rang tang tang etc. 

191 
The Good Old Man 

Known in Virginia (FSV 164), Kentucky (SharpK 11 338-0 
OSC 128-9), the Ozarks (OPS iii 171-4), and Illinois (SFLQ 11 
155-6, from Virgmia); also in Wales; see note on it in SharpK. 

A 
[Good Old Man.' From Miss Amy Henderson, Worry, Burke county, 
m 1914. The questions are each repeated three times, as in the first 
stanza; and the old man's answers are spoken, not sung. 
* For "sweet-gum." 



464 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 Where are you going, my good old man? 
Where are you going, my good old man r 
Where are you going, my good old man? 
Best old man in the world. 

H tin tin'. 

2 What d'you want for breakfast ? 

Eggs. 

3 How many d'you want ? 

4 A bushel will kill you. 

5 Where must I bury you 

6 The pot will boil over. 



A bushel. 

I don't care. 

In the chimney corner. 

I don't care. 



'The Good Old Man.' From the manuscripts of Obadiah Johnson ol 
Crossnore, Avery county, in 1940. Here the repeated wording is a little 
different, as shown in the first stanza, here given in full. The answers 
doubtless are spoken, as in A, not sung. The sense of the last stanza is 
obscure — to the editor, at least. 

1 Where are you a-going, my good old man? 
Where are you a-going, my honey, my love? 
Best old soul in the world. 

Going to the store. 

2 What are you going to buy ? 

New dress. 

3 How much will it cost? 

Fifty cents. 

4 Fifty cents will break you. 

Fix my supper, old woman. 

5 What do you want for your supper? 

Sack of potatoes. 

6 A sack will kill you. 

IV ant to die anyhow. 

7 Where do you want to be buried ? 

In the chimney corner. 

8 Ashes will fall on you. 

Don't care if they do. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 465 

9 V\'hy do you want to be buried there? 

So I can Jia'nt you. 

10 A ha'nt can't ha'nt a ha'nt, my good old man. 
A ha'nt can't ha'nt a ha'nt, my honey, my love. 
Meanest old devil in the world ! 



192 
The Burglar Man 

This piece of music-hall humor has heen reported as traditional 
song, of a sort, in Mississippi (FSM 249-50), and the Archive of 
American Folk Song has a recording of it made in Kentucky. 
Otherwise I have not found it reported as folk song. 

'The Burglar Man.' From the John Burch Biaylock Collection. 

1 I'll tell you a story of a burglar man 
Who toddled to a robber's house. 

He peeped in the window and in he crept. 
Just as quiet as a mouse. 

2 He was thinking of some money to get. 
While under the bed he lay ; 
Burglar saw a sight that night 

That made his hair turn grey. 

3 About nine o'clock an old maid came m. 
'I'm so tired,' she said. 

Glad to see her home was well. 
She forgot to look under the bed. 

4 She took out her teeth and a big glass eye. 
The hair ofT of her head ; 

The burglar man had nineteen fits 
As he came from under the bed. 

5 From under the bed this burglar came ; 
He was a total wreck. 

The old maid didn't holler at all 
But she grabbed him round the neck. 

6 She drew out a revolver. 
Unto the burglar said. 

'Young man, you had better marry me. 
Or I'll blow oflf the top of your head.' 

7 She held him by the arm so tight 
He had no chance to scoot ; 

He looked up to the old maid : 
'Woman, for the Lord's sake shoot!' 



466 north carolina folklore 

Billy Grimes the Drover 

This bit of social satire is widely known in the United States. 
See BSM 251, and add to the references there given Virginia 
(FSV 234), North CaroHna (FSRA 134-5), Florida (SFLQ viii 
190-1), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 40-1, from Kentucky), and, per- 
haps, an entry in Davis's list (FSV 178). It is also listed as known 
in Michigan (BSSM 477). In our collection it exists in two forms: 
a shorter, in which only the mother's worldliness is satirized (texts 
A B C E G), and a longer, in which the drover turns upon the 
girl's calcuhations. The use in the D text of pounds instead of 
dollars suggests that the piece is of British origin, not American 
as Belden (BSM 251) supposed; but it seems to be of record only 
in the United States. That Grimes is sometimes called a rover in- 
stead of a drover is probably due to the singer's being unfamiliar 
with the old way of conducting the cattle business. The texts are so 
much alike that only one specimen of the short form and one of the 
long are given here There are eight texts in the collection : 

A 'Billy Grimes.' From Miss Amy Henderson of Worry, Burke county, 
in 1914. 

B 'Billy Grimes.' From Miss Lura Wagoner's manuscript book of songs 
compiled at Vox, Alleghany county, apparently in the second decade of 
this century. 

C 'Billy Grimes.' From Mrs. Sutton. Time and place not indicated. 

D 'Billy Grimes, the Drover ; or, Across the Fields of Barley.' Con- 
tributed in 1923 by Miss Gertrude Allen (later Mrs. Vaught) from 
Taylorsville, Alexander county. 

E 'Billy Grimes.' Contributed in 1927 by Julian P. Boyd, presumably 
from one of his pupils in the school at Alliance, Pamlico county. 

F 'Billy Grimes.' From Miss Susie Hageman of Beach Creek, Watauga 
county, in 1922. 

G 'Billy Grimes.' From Miss Laura Matthews of Durham. Two stanzas 
only. 

H 'Billy Grimes.' From E. B. Spivey, Jr., of Trotville, Gates county. 

Mrs. Sutton's text exemplifies the shorter form. 

1 'Tomorrow morn I am sweet sixteen, and Billy Grimes, the 

drover, 
He pops the question to me, maw, and wants to be my 

lover. 
He says tomorrow morning, maw, he's coming here quite 

early 
To take a pleasant walk with me across the fields of barley.' 

2 'You must not go, my daughter dear. There's no more 

use in talking. 
You shall not go with Billy Grimes across the fields 
a-walking. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 467 

To think of his presumption, too, the ugly dirty drover. 
I wonder where your pride has gone, to think of such a 
lover.' 

3 'Old Grimes is dead, you know, my maw, and Billy is so 

lonely. 
Besides, they say of Grimes' estate that Billy is the only 
Surviving heir to all that's left, and that, they say, is nearly 
A good ten thousand dollars, maw, and about six hundred 

yearly.' 

4 'My daughter dear, I did not hear your last remark quite 

clearly. 
For Billy is a clever lad and no doubt loves you dearly. 
Remember, then, tomorrow morn to be up bright and early 
To take a pleasant walk with him across the fields of 

barley.' 
The longer version adds two stanzas, taken here from the D text : 

5 'And when we're married, dear inama, we both shall look 

so neatly. 
I'll wear a thousand dollar shawl; 'twill make me look so 

sweetly. 
This common frock is getting old, and silks will soon be 

fashion ; 
I'll turn his pockets inside out, and meet with a short, 

guess him.'^ 

And then the drover — who has been there all along, perhaps, or perhaps 
has just dropped in — speaks for himself: 

6 'Not quite so fast, my pretty miss; don't try to win the 

drover, 
Who's traveled this whole country through in search of a 

true lover. 
My money ne'er shall buy your shawl nor build your castles 

higher. 
Please, madam, take your daughter home ; I did it but to 

try her.' 

194 

Grandma's Advice 

This old English ditty, still sung in Oxfordshire (FSUT 74), is 
widely known in America: in Nova Scotia (BSSNS 379), Massa- 
chusetts (FSONE 243-5), New York (SCSM 375), Virginia (FSV 

* F has here "and meet with a short guess him" ; H has "and count him 
short to guessing." Shoemaker's Pennsylvania text has "all in a short 
digression," which is perhaps the right reading. These variant readings 
point to aural rather than visual transmission. 



468 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

176), West Virginia (FSS 469), North Carolina (SCSM 374-5)» 
Florida (FSF 363-4), Mississippi (JAFL xxxix 157-8), the Ozarks 
(OFS I 383-4), Ohio (BSO 300-1), Indiana (BSI 243), and Iowa 
(MAFLS XXIX 21-2). It is included in Mrs. Richardson's Ameri- 
can Mountain Song and in Ford's Traditional Music of America. 
It is sometimes called 'Little Johnny Green,' from the name of the 
wooer that appears — or one of them. There are four texts and a 
fragment in our Collection, but they are so closely alike that it 
seems sufficient to give one of them. The texts are : 

A 'My Grandma Lives on Yonder Little Green.' From the collection 
of Miss Elizabeth Walker of Boone, Watauga county. 

B 'My Grandmother Lived on Yonder Little Green.' From Mrs. Sut- 
ton, reported probably in the early 1920s. 

C 'Grandma's Advice.' Contributed by Jessie Hauser of Forsyth county 
about 1923. 

D 'My Grandma's Advice.' Secured by Jesse T. Carpenter from the 
manuscript book of Mrs. Mary Martin Copley, Route 8, Durham. The 
opening stanza only. 

E 'Grandma's Advice.' Contributed by M. K. Carmichael, with the no- 
tation that it was sung in Dillon county, South Carolina, in the latter 
part of the nineteenth century. 

The C text runs as follows : 

1 My grandma lives on yonder little green, 
As fine an old lady as ever was seen. 
She often cautioned me with care 

Of all false yoimg men to beware. 
Timmy I timmy um timmy umpy ta 
Of all false young men to beware. 

2 'These false young men they'll flatter and deceive, 
So, my love, you must not believe. 

They'll flatter and they'll coax till you're in their snare, 
Then away goes poor old grandma's care. 
Timmy I timmy um timmy umpy ta 
Away goes poor old grandma's care.' 

3 The first came a-courting was little Johnny Green, 
As fine a little fellow as ever was seen ; 

But the words of my grandma rang in my head, 
I could not hear one word that he said. 
Timmy I timmy um timmy umpy ta 
I could not hear one word that he said. 

4 The next came a-courting was young Ellis Grove. 
'Twas then we met with a joyous love. 

With a joyous love, and I couldn't be afraid. 
You'd better get married than to be an old maid. 
Timmy I timmy um timmy umpy ta 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 469 

You'd better get married than to be an old maid. 
More often the conclusion is as in the B text : 

If the boys and the girls had all been afraid 
Grandma herself would have died an old maid. 



195 

Common Bill 

This pleasantly humorous song, presumably of English origin, is 
reported from Leicestershire (ECS 52-3), Maine (FSONE 187-8), 
Virginia (FSV 176-7, SCSM 309-10), Kentucky (Shearin 29), 
North Carolina (SCSM 308-9), Florida (FSF 372-3), Mississippi 
(JAFL XXVIII 173-4, XXXIX 158-9, FSM 173-4), Arkansas (OFS 
I 427), Missouri (OFS i 428), Ohio (JAFL xxxv 363-4, ASb 
62-3, BSO 160-2), Indiana (JAFL xxix 171), Michigan (BSSM 
430-1), Iowa (ABS 214-15, MAFLS xxix 90), Nebraska (Pound 
61), and is included without location in ABES 325-6. Kittredge 
(JAFL xxxv 364) has a note on its appearance in songbooks. The 
texts in our collection are so nearly alike that it will not be neces- 
sary to give them all. 



'Silly Bill.' In an anonymous penciled manuscript on faded blue paper 
in an old hand and dated May 26, i860. How it came into the Collection 
does not appear. 

1 Oh, I'll tell you of a fellow, 
Of a fellow I have seen, 

Who is neither white nor yellow 
But is altogether green. 
His name it is not charming 
For it's only common Bill, 
And he urges me to wed him — 
But I hardly think I will. 

Chorus: 

Oh, Bill ! Silly, silly Bill ! 
He urges me to wed him 
But I hardly think I will. 

2 He has told me of a cottage. 
Of a cottage among the trees. 
And don't you think the blockhead 
Fell down upon his knees, 

While the tears the creature wasted 
Were enough to turn a mill ! 
And he urges me to wed him — 
But I hardly think I will. 



470 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 Oh ! he whispered of devotion, 
Of devotion pure and deep, 
But it seemed so very silly 
That I almost fell asleep. 

And he thinks it would be pleasant. 
As we journey down the hill, 
To go hand in hand together — 
But I hardly think I will. 

4 He was here last night to see me 
And he made so long a story^ 

I began to think the blockhead 
Never meant to go away. 
At first I learned to hate him. 
And I know I hate him still ; 
Yet he urges me to wed him. 
But I hardly think I will. 

5 I am sure I would not choose him. 
But the very devil is in it, 

For he says if I refuse him 
That he could not live a minute. 
And you know the Blessed Bible 
Says we must not kill. 
So I have thought the matter over 
And I rather think I will. 



'Silly Bill.' From the collection of Miss Isabel Rawn (later Mrs. T. L. 
Perry), contributed before 1915. The matter is almost identical with 
that of A but the order is different. The first half of stanza 2 is the 
last half of stanza 3 of A and the stanza is completed by repeating the 
chorus ; stanza 3 is stanza 2 of A ; and at the end the chorus is repeated 
with variation : 

Bill, Bill, dearest, dearest Bill, 
I've studied the matter over 
And I rather think I will. 

c 

'Silly Billy.' From I. G. Greer, Boone, Watauga county, probably in 
191 5. Five stanzas, no chorus. Does not diflfer significantly from the 
preceding two. 



'Silly Bill.' From the manuscript songbook of Miss Lura Wagoner of 
Vox, Alleghany county, in which it was probably entered about 1912. 
Does not differ significantly from A. 

E 

'Bill.' Collected from James York of Olin, Iredell county, in 1939. 
No significant differences from other texts. 

* Evidently miswritten for "stay." 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 47I 

196 

Swapping Songs 

There are in the Collection more than one song on the theme of 
successive exchanges at a loss. First is that commonly called 
simply 'Swapping Song.' This is found both in Halliwell (6-8) 
and Rimbault (54-6), and has been reported from Connecticut 
(Hoosier Folklore Bulletin iv 56) and Tennessee (ETWVMB 
78-9). It is marked by a refrain, as in our A text, mentioning 
Jack Straw, which is supposed to have come down from the four- 
teenth century, when one Jack Straw was the partner of Wat Tyler 
in the rebellion in the days of Richard II. Another is 'The Foolish 
Boy,' in which the old nursery rhyme 'When I was a little boy I 
lived by myself is extended with a series of unprofitable exchanges. 
This has been reported from Indiana (Hoosier Folklore Bulletin iv 
87-8). The nursery rhyme without the swapping is separately con- 
sidered under another caption. Then there is a quite distinct song 
in which a girl tells how her father is going to buy her a mocking- 
bird, a ring, a looking glass, a billy goat, and so on. And there 
is still another, a fragment perhaps, that seems not to belong to any 
of these. 



'Swapping Song.' From W. Amos Abrams of Boone, Watauga county. 
Date and provenience not given. 

1 My father died, but I don't know how, 
He left a horse to hitch to the plow. 

Refrain: 

To my wing wong waddle, 
To my Jack straw straddle, 
To my John far faddle. 
To my long ways home. 

2 I swapped my horse and got a cow, 
And in that trade I just learned how. 

3 I swapped my cow and got me a calf, 
And in that trade I just lost half. 

4 I swapped my calf and got me a goat, 
Rode to election and sold my vote. 

5 I swapped my goat and got me a pig ; 

The piggy was so little and he never growed big. 

6 I swapped my pig and got me a hen 
To lay me an egg every now and then. 



472 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

7 I swapped my hen and got me a cat; 
The pretty Httle thing by the chimney sat. 

8 I swapped my cat and got me a mouse ; 

His tail caught a-fire and he burned down the house. 

9 I swapped my mouse and got me a mole ; 
The dad-burned thing went straight to his hole. 



'I Swapped My Horse and Got Me a Mare.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton 
from the singing of a man named Huskins in Mitchell county. "The 
mountain children, familiar with this song, find the basic truth in it and 
enjoy it a great deal. Mr. Huskins said his 'younguns druther hear hit 
than ary nother song he knowed.' " Note that the refrain is really that 
of A though it has lost the Jack Straw memory. 

1 I swapped my horse and got me a mare, 
And then I rode to the county fair. 

Refrain: 

And a whang dang a foddle all day, all day, 
And a whang dang a foddle all day. 

2 I swapped my mare and got me a cow, 
And in that trade I learned just how. 

3 I swapped my cow and got me a calf. 
And in that trade I lost just half. 

4 I swapped my calf and got me a sheep, 
And then I cried myself to sleep. 

5 I swapped my sheep and got me a hen ; 

She ain't laid an egg since Lord knows when. 

6 I swapped my hen and got me a cat ; 
She put her kitten in Dad's old hat. 

7 I swapped my cat and got me a mouse ; 

His tail cotch a-fire and burnt down the house. 



I swapped my mouse and got me a mole ; 
The dog-gone thing run right to his hole. 



No title. From Miss Gertrude Allen (afterwards Mrs. Vaught), Tay- 
lorsville, Alexander county. This seems to belong neither to the tradition 
of The Swapping Song' as given above nor to The Foolish Boy.' 
Negroes know it in Alabama (ANFS 195). 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 473 

Paid five dollars for an old gray horse. 
Horse wouldn't pull and I sold it for a bull. 
Bull wouldn't holler and I sold it for a dollar. 
Dollar wouldn't pass, so I throwed it in the grass. 
Yonder comes a yaller gal walking mighty fast. 

'The Foolish Boy' is simply the 'Swapping Song' appended to the 
nursery rhyme about the little boy who tried to bring his wife home 
in a wheelbarrow, for which see no. 131 in Vol. III. The combina- 
tion is fairly familiar in the South: West Virginia (FSmWV 48- 
50), Kentucky (SharpK 11 307-9, TKMS 10-3, JAFL xxvi 143-4), 
with some form of the refrain already exemplified in A, and without 
precise location in the southern Appalachians (AMS 48-9), with a 
quite different refrain, the same as that used in the nursery song 
'Poor Little Lamb Cries "Mammy." ' Reported also from Ohio 
(BSO 215-16) with the 'Swapping Song' refrain. It occurs but 
once in the North Carolina collection, and without refrain. 



'When I Was a Little Boy ' Reported, probably by W. Amos Abrams, 
as "given to me on September 29, 1939, by Louise Hutchins, who 
learned it from her classmates in school at White Plains." White 
Plains is in Surry county. 

1 When I was a little boy I lived by myself. 

All the bread and meat I got I laid it on the shelf. 

2 The rats and the mice led me such a life 

I had to go to London to buy me a wife. 

3 The roads were muddy and the streets were narrow ; 
I had to bring her home in an old wheelbarrow. 

4 The wheelbarrow broke and wife caught a fall. 
Down went the wheelbarrow, wife and all. 

5 I sold my wife and bought me a cow; 
In that trade I learned how. 

6 I sold my cow and bought me a calf; 
In that trade I lost half. 

7 I sold my cow and bought me a cat ; 
In that trade I got me a hat. 

8 I sold my cat and bought me a mouse ; 
The darned little devil set fire to my house. 

'Papa's Going to Buy Me a Mockingbird' has no connection with 
the 'Swapping Song' or 'The Foolish Boy' except that it recounts 
a similar series of nonsensical exchanges. From the temper of it 
one suspects an origin on the vaudeville stage; but Dr. White notes 
on Knox's copy that he knew it as a nursery song in his childhood. 
It has been reported also from Virginia (SharpK 11 342) and 
Arkansas (OFS iii 51). 



474 



NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



'Sister, Sister, Have You Heard?' Obtained from Carl G. Knox, stu- 
dent at Trinity College 1922-24. Goes to the tune of 'Mr. Bullfrog.' 

1 Sister, sister, have you heard? 
Papa's goin' a buy me a mocking bird. 

2 If that mocking bird won't sing, 
Papa's goin' a buy me a diamond ring. 

3 If that diamond ring turns brass, 
Papa's goin' a buy me a looking-glass. 

4 If that looking-glass gets broke. 
Papa's goin' a buy me a billy goat. 

5 If that billy goat won't pull, 
Papa's goin' a buy me a Jersey bull. 

6 If that Jersey bull won't bellow, 

Papa's goin' a buy me a brand new fellow. 

7 If that brand new fellow won't work, 
Papa's goin' a buy me a woolen shirt. 

8 If that woolen shirt won't fit, 
Papa's goin' a have a fit, fit, fit. 



'Mama, Mama, Have You Heard?' From Miss Florence Coleman of 
Durham in 1922. The first four couplets as in E except for "mama" 
instead of "sister" in the opening line; the last two couplets are: 

5 If that billy goat runs away, 

Papa's going to buy me a load of hay ; 

6 If that load of hay gets wet. 

Papa's going to woop my back, I bet. 

197 
Dog and Gun 

Often called 'The Golden Glove,' but the title here used serves to 
keep it from confusion with the very different story of the glove 
thrown into the lions' den, for which see no. 89, above. The song is 
widely known and sung in Great Britain and in America, with no 
great variation in the text. See BSM 229, and add to the ref- 
erences there given Virginia (FSV 38-9), Kentucky (SFLQ 11 
149-51), North Carolina (FSRA 106-7), Missouri (OFS i 308-10), 
Indiana (HFLB iii 7-8), Ohio (BSD 173-5). Illinois (JAFL lx 
228-9), Michigan (BSSM 195-7), and Wisconsin (JAFL lii 36). 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 



475 



The Golden Glove.' Contributed by Mrs. Charles K. Tillett of Wan- 
chese, Roanoke Island, in 1923. 

1 There was a young squire in Plymouth did dwell, 

He loved an old man's daughter, he loved her full well. 
The day was appointed, the wedding was to be, 
The squire he was chosen to take her away. 

2 Instead of going to the wedding, this lady went to bed. 
The thought of her farmer ran swiftly through her iiead 
With waistcoat and breeches this lady she put on 

And olT went a-hunting with her dog and her gun. 

3 She hunted around where the farmer he did dwell. 

It ran through her mind that she loved him full well 

Often did she fire, but nothing did she kill. 

At last the brisk young farmer came out in his field. 

4 'Why aren't you to the wedding' the lady she replied. 
To wait upon the squire and give to him his bride ?' ' 
'Oh no,' said the farmer, 'the truth to you I'll tell, 

I love that young lady— I love her too well.' 

5 This pleased the young lady to hear him speak so bold. 
She paid a very good attention and lost her glove of gold 
And said, 'The one that will find it and bring it unto me 
Is the one I'll marry, is the bride I'll be.'^ 

6 As soon as the farmer this news he did know 
Straight to the lady, right straight to her he goes, 
Saymg, 'Honor me, fair lady, for I've found your glove. 
And won't you be as kind as to grant me your love ^' " 

7 'It's already granted,' the lady she replied, 

'And I love the breath of the farmer as he goes riding bv. 
I'll be mistress of my dairy, the milker of my cow, 
While Charlie the brisk young farmer goes whistling to his 
plow.' 

8 Now Polly's married she's telling of the fun. 

How she hunted up her farmer with her dog and her gun. 

B 

The Rich Esquire.' Contributed by Miss Jewell Robbins of Pekin 
Montgomery county (afterwards Mrs. C P. Perdue), about 1022 or 
1923. The text does not differ significantly from A. 

' Apparently should read "the one whose bride I'll be." 



476 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 



Kitty Clyde 

This sprightly little song is known in Pennsylvania (NPM 1 14-15, 
"Sung in Potter County. Copied from old newspaper") and Vir- 
ginia (FSV 102) and is listed in Miss Pound's syllabus; further it 
has not been traced. One of our texts has a chorus borrowed appar- 
ently from 'Kitty Cline,' and the other ends in two stanzas remin- 
iscent of that song. 

A 
'Kitty Clyde.' From the manuscript songbook of Miss Lura Wagoner 
of Vox, Alleghany county, lent to Dr. Brown in 1936. Some of the 
entries in the book are dated 191 1, others 1913, which gives an approxi- 
mate date for the entry of this song. 

1 Oh, who has not seen Kittie Clyde? 
She lives at the foot of the hill 

In a sly little nook by the bab^ little brook 
That carries her father's old mill. 

Chorus: 

Oh, say that you love me, Kittie Clyde, 

Oh, say that you love me, Kittie Clyde, 

Oh, say that you love me, my sweet turtle dove, 

Oh, say that you love me, Kittie Clyde. 

2 Oh, who does not love Kittie Clyde? 
That sunny-eyed rose glass 

With a sweet little chin that looks roguish- 
With always a smile as you pass. 

3 With a bucket to put in her fish, 
Every morning a line and a hook. 

That sweet little lass through the tall heavy grass 
Steals along by the clear running brook. 

4 She throws her line into the stream 
And tries it along the river side. 
Oh, how I do wish I was a fish 

To be caught by sweet Kittie Clyde ! 



'Kitty Clyde.' Contributed by Mrs. C. K. Tillett, Wanchese, Roanoke 
Island, in March 1923. 

I Who have seen Kitty Clyde? 
She lives at the foot of the hill 

* The Pennsylvania text shows that this should read "babbling." 

* The Pennsylvania text clears up the difficulties here : 

The rosy-cheekd, sunny-eyed lass, 

With a sweet dimpled chin that looks roguish as sin. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 477 

In a shy little nook by the boobling brook 
She^ carries her father's old mill. 

Chorus: 

Kitty, sweet Kitty, 

My own darling Kitty Clyde, 

In a shy little nook by the boobling brook 

There lives my own Kitty Clyde. 

2 She has a basket to put her jfish in, 
Every morning a hook and a line,^ 

With^ a shy little lass as she trods the heavy grass 
And straightway to the running brook. 

3 She throwed her line in the stream 
As I was along the brook-side. 
How I wish I was a fish 

To be caught by sweet Kitty Clyde ! 

4 Oh, if I was some bee 

I wouldn't gather honey from the flowers ; 
I'd take one sweet sip from sweet Kitty's lips, 
And build my hive in her bowers. 

5 Oh, if I was some bird 

I'd not build my nest in the air; 

I'd keep by the side of my sweet Kitty Clyde 

And build my nest in her hair. 

199 

Father, Father, I Am Married 

This is the only representative in our collection of an English 
ballad of the fabliau type, 'Will the Weaver,' current more or less 
both in England and in this country. See Mackenzie's headnote 
BSSNS 328 and Williams's FSUT io6. The question about who 
shall wear the breeches appears also in other songs that have noth- 
ing to do with a weaver: the English 'Struggle for the Breeches' 
(FSUT 268-71) and 'Devilish Mary' reported from Florida and 
Louisiana by the Lomaxes (OSC 136-8). Mrs. Sutton, who seems 
to have contributed our fragment, remarks that the singer. Mrs. 
Silas Buchanan of Horse Creek, Ashe county, "sang snatches of 
one very coarse song with a catchy tune that I've heard a lot up 
here. ... It has no name, nor is it sung at parties. I've stayed 
at three places where it was sung before breakfast." The two 
stanzas are both in the mouth of the married man but are not con- 
nected ; the first is addressed to his father, the second to his wife. 

* For "She" read "That." 

' Here "hook" and "line" should be transposed, as the rhyme shows. 

* This word is hardly construable here. Perhaps we should read 
"This" for "With a." 



478 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 Father, father, I am married. 
Would that longer I had tarried ; 
For my wife she does declare 
That the britches she will wear. 

2 Wife, O wife, make no objection ; 
You must live by my direction. 
Wife, O wife, I do declare 

That the britches I will wear ! 



200 

If I Had a Scolding Wife 

This is one of those detachable stanzas likely to bob up in a 
variety of contexts. With New Orleans in place of the still-house 
in the penultimate line it is reported as sung by Negroes in Missis- 
sippi (JAFL XXVIII 188) and by whites in Missouri (OFS 11 360) 
and in the Midwest (Ford's Traditional Music of America 395, as 
part of 'Lucy Long'), in Nebraska (JAFL xxviii 272 as part of 
'Ain't I Goin" brought from Arkansas), and in our own collection 
(see 'Uncle Joe Cut Off His Toe,' no. 96 in vol. Ill; and 'Lynch- 
burg Town,' no. 412) ; Virginia Negroes knew it (TNFS 125) as 
part of 'Bile dem Cabbage Down' with an even more savage threat : 

If I had a scolding wife 
I'd whoop 'er sho's you born, 
Hitch her to a double plow 
And make her plow my corn. 

'If I Had a Scolding Wife.' Reported by Clara Hearne of Pittsboro, 
Chatham county, in 1923. 

If I had a scolding wife 
I'd whip her, sho as you born. 
I'd take her down to the still-house 
And swap her off for corn. 



201 

The Scolding Wife 

There are divers traditional songs on this subject, but this one 
I have not found in other collections. Randolph reports from 
Arkansas (OFS iii 127-8) a song with the same title but a quite 
different text. Compare 'The Dumb Wife,' No. 183 above. 



'The Scolding Wife.' Contributed by Ethel Day of Cook's Gap, near 
Blowing Rock, Watauga county, in 1922. 



OLDER BALLADS MOSTLY BRITISH 479 

Oh, you've often heard it asked 

Why a woman talks so fast. 

Oh, she runs around with every bit of news. 

She'll talk a man to death 

Before he can catch his breath, 

And the way she wags her tongue it beats the Jews. 

Chorus: 

Oh, there's no use to try. 

The reason for is, why. 

Whatever you say she'll quarrel. 

Just take my advice and drop it, 

For I'm sure you cannot stop it ; 

For a woman's tongue will never take a rest. 

When a man goes home to his meals, 
Oh, it's how do you reckon he feels? 
Her chin music she will commence. 
When he's off working hard 
She'll be standing in the yard 
A-chatting to the neighbor across the fence. 

Oh, the young folks go a-courting, 

They say it is for sport ; 

Oh, the old folks say, 'You'll catch it while you're young.* 

To live a scornful life 

Marry a loving childish wife ; 

Better marry one that's blind, deaf, and dumb. 



'The Scolding Wife.' Obtained by Dr. Brown from Mrs. Daisy Jones 
Couch of Durham. Only the first stanza is given, and that is the same 
as in A. Dr. Brown has noted on the manuscript "Otherwise same as 
in JAFL xxviii p. 88" ; but there is nothing of this sort at that place 
in JAFL. 



202 
The Little Black Mustache 

Clearly a music-hall production, this has established itself more 
or less as folk song, especially in the South. It has been reported 
from Virginia (FSV 177), Kentucky (FSMEU 210-11), Tennessee 
(BTFLS IV 76), North Carolina (JAFL xlv 116-17), Mississippi 
(JAFL xxxix 159-60), Texas (PFLST vi 231-2), the Ozarks 
(OFS III 125-30). and Iowa (MAFLS xxix 85-6). The texts 
in our collection vary slightly, but not enough to justify printing 
more than one. 



480 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

A 

'The Little Black Mustache. From the manuscript of Mrs. Mary Mar- 
tin Copley, Route 8, Durham ; obtained by Jesse T. Carpenter. 

1 Oh, once I had a chaniiing beau, I loved him dear as Hfe, 
And I thought that the time would surely come when I 

could he his wife. 
His pockets they were full of gold, and, oh! I cut a dash 
With a diamond ring and a watch and chain, with a darling 

black mustache. 

Clion{s: 

That little black mustache, that darling black mustache ; 
Oh, every time I think of it my heart lieats quick and 

fast. 
That little black mustache, that darling black mustache ; 
Oh, now you know I had a beau with a darling black 

mustache. 

2 He often came on Saturday night and stayed till after 

three. 
He told me he never loved a girl as well as he loved me. 
Now, my ladies, take my advice and never be so rash 
To fall in love with any boy that wears a black mustache. 

3 There came an old maid there, she was worth her weight 

in gold; 

She wore false hair, she wore false teeth, she was forty- 
five years old. 

And [my] young man deserted me for that old maid's 
cash. 

And then he pressed upon her lips that darling black 
mustache. 

B 

'Black Mustache.' From W. Amos Abrams, Boone, Watauga county. 

C 
'The Black Mustache.' From Gertrude Allen (Mrs. Vaught), Taylors- 
ville, Alexander county. 

D 
'The Little Black Mustache.' Taken from the manuscripts of G. S. Rob- 
inson of Asheville in August I939- This adds two lines of advice: 

And now, young girls, take my advice and never be so rash 
As to fall in love with any gent that has a black mustache. 

E 
•That Little Black Mustache.' From O L. Coffey of Shull's Mills, 
Watauga county. The manuscript bears the notation : "Recorded in . . . 
for the . . . Co.," which probably means that it is obtainable as a 
phonograph record. 

F 
'Little Black Mustache.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 481 

203 

No Sign of a Marriage 

The "five hundred pounds" in A and the general tone of this piece 
suggest an origin in the British stall press. But if that is its source, 
the original has not been found. Nothing resembling it appears in 
any of the collections of folk song available to the editors. 

A 
*No Sign of a Marriage.' Collected from James York of Olin, Iredell 
county, in 1939. 

1 Av^^ay in the north country there lived a yottng couple, 
A man and a maid both gallant and gay. 

A long time a-courting and no sign of a marriage, 
No sign of a marriage to be. 

2 At length this young maid began for to speak : 
'Come, come, kind sir, it's what do you mean, 

A long time a-courting but no sign of a marriage, 
No, no sign of a marriage to be?' 

3 He made her a very unlovingly answer : 

'As soon as a man is married his joys are all fled ; 

He's freed from all liberty, bound down to hard slavery: 

So I've a mind to go free — and goodnight.' 

4 And while she was sitting lamenting and mourning, 
Up stepped a young squire all ready to wed. 

Saying, 'Here's five hundred pounds if you will marry me.* 
They quickly agreed to marry with speed. 

5 She sat down and wrote her old lover a letter 
To come to her wedding the ninth day of June, 
To come as a waiter instead of a better 

To wait on the table and on the bridegroom. 

6 And when he did get it he sadly groaned, 
Saying, 'Have I so foolishly lost her at last?' 
He bridled and saddled and rode to the station. 
Expecting to see her before she was wedded. 

7 Saying, 'Get up behind me and leave him alone.' 
'But don't you remember those words you told me, 
As soon as you're married your joys are all fled. 

He's freed from all liberty, bound down to hard slavery; 
So I've a mind to go free — and goodnight?' 



'Pretty Polly.' From J. B. Midgett of Wanchese, Roanoke Island. The 
manuscript is not divided into stanzas, but as it seems to be stanzaic in 
structure the editor has attempted the division. 



482 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 All down in yonder country where a couple was dwelling, 
All down in yonder country where a couple did dwell, 
Long they had tarried but never had married. 

'Oh say, pretty William, ain't you going to wed?' 

2 'Indeed, pretty Polly, I once loved you dearly 
And in your sweet company I took great delight ; 
But when a man is once wed his joy is all fled, 

He is free from all liberty, bound down to hard slavery. 
We are both free, love, and I bid you goodnight. 

3 'Though indeed, pretty Polly, there is one thing yet to tell 

you, 
That is to ask me to your wedding, love, and I will do the 

same. 
For you need never mind, a husband you'll find 
If there's any such a thing in this world to be had.' 

4 She wrote him a letter to come to her wedding 
On the ninth day of June. This letter he reads. 
His poor heart did bleed, crying, 'I've lost her, 
I've lost her, I've lost her indeed.' 

5 With his bridle and saddle he rode to her station, 
He rode to the place where pretty Polly did dwell ; 
And when he got there through his trouble and snares 
The bride and bridegroom was out on the floor. 

6 'Oh, indeed, pretty Polly, if I only had have known it. 

If I only had have known, love, that you wedded so soon, 
We would have got married, no longer have tarried ; 
So step up beside me, love, and leave him alone.' 

7 'Oh, indeed, pretty William, I once loved you dearly 
And in your sweet company I took great delight; 
But remember, you said when a man he was wed 

He was freed from liberty, bound down to hard slavery ; 
So we are both free, love, and I'll bid you goodnight.' 



204 
WiLKiNS AND His Dinah 

This song in its burlesque form was often printed and widely 
sung in the last century, and has not yet passed out of the repertory 
of singers. For a brief note of its two forms, the tragic and the 
comic, and its occurrence as traditional song, see BSM 147, and 
add to the references there given Virginia (FSV 60-2), Florida 
(FSF 339-40), Massachusetts (FSONE 301-3), Kentucky (FSKH 
5-7), Missouri (OFS i 331-2), Ohio (BSO 149-51), and Michigan 
(BSSM 395-8). It is not always easy to say of a given text 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 483 

whether it is comic or tragic in intention, but most American texts 
are pretty certainly consciously burlesque, like the first text given 
below. 



■\'il!ikens and his Dinah.' Contributed by K. P. Lewis of Durham from 
the singing of Dr. Kemp P. Battle of Chapel Hill in 1910. The refrain 
is of course repeated after each stanza— with appropriate changes of tem- 
per in its rendition. 

1 It is of a rich merchant I am going for to tell, 

Who had for a daughter an uncommon fine young gal. 
Her name it was Dinah, just sixteen years old, 
And she had a large fortune of silver and gold. 

Ri-tooly-li-looly-li-looly-li-lay 
Ri-tooly-li-looly-li-looly-li-lay 
Ri-tooly-li-looly-li-looly-li-lay 
Ri-tooly-li-looly-li-looly-li-lay 

2 When Dinah was walking in the garden one day 
Her papa came to her and to her did say, 

'Go dress yourself, Dinah, in gorgeous array. 

And I'll bring you a husband both galliant and gay.' 

3 'Oh, no, dearest papa,' the daughter she cried, 
'To marry just yet I don't feel inclined. 
And all my large fortune I'll gladly give o'er 

If you'll just let me stay singuel for one twelvemonth more.' 

4 'Go, go, dearest daughter,' the parient he cried. 

'If you do not consent to be this here young man's bride 

I'll give your large fortune to nearest of kin, 

And you shan't have the benefit of one single pin.' 

5 As Villikins was walking in the garden around 
He spied his dear Dinah lying dead on the ground 
With a cup of cold pizon lying down by her side 
And a billet dux which said 'twas by pizon she died. 

6 He kissed her cold corpus a thousand times o'er, 
And vowed she was his Dinah, tho' she was no more ; 
Then he drank up the pizon like a lovyer so brave, 

And Villikins and his Dinah were both laid in one grave. 

7 At twelve the next night, 'neath a tall poplar tree, 
A ghost of his Dinah the parient did see 

Arm in arm with her Villikins, and both looking blue, 
Saying, 'We would not have been pizoned if it hadn't been 
for you.' 



484 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

8 Now the parient was seized of horror of home, 

So he packed up his portmanteau around the world to 

roam; 
But as he was starting he was seized with a shiver 
Which shook him in pieces, and ended him foriver. 

9 Now, all you young men, don't you thus fall in love, nor 
Do by no means disobey your gov-nor ; 

And all you young maidens, mind who you clap eyes on ; 
Think of Villikens and his Dinah, not forgetting the pizon. 



'Billikins and his Dinah.' Contributed by Charles R. Bagley in 1913 as 
heard from his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Dudley, in Moyock, 
Currituck county. Text is much the same as A except that the last 
four stanzas of A are represented only by 

Now all you young maidens take warning at this 

And all you young men mind who you clap your eyes on 

This of Billikens and Dinah and the cup of cold pizen. 

c 

'Miss Dinah.' Contributed by Mrs. Sutton in 1928, she does not say 
from whom secured or where, with the music as set down by her sister 
Miss Pearl Minish. A reduced version, but with no variants that seem 
worth recording. 

D 

'Robert Lerow and his Dila.' Contributed by Thomas Smith of Zion- 
ville, Watauga county, as sung by Miss Pearl Graham in 1915. The 
names are changed but otherwise the story runs as in A, including the 
appearance of the ghosts and the consequent death of the cruel father. 
There is about it, however, no suggestion of burlesque ; it is a straight 
and simple tragedy of thwarted love. 



'Sweet William.' Contributed in 1928 by Mrs. Vaught (who was then 
Miss Gertrude Allen) from one of her students in the school at Oak- 
boro, Stanly county. A reduced form of four stanzas, but without sig- 
nificant variants. 



205 
Thimble Buried His Wife at Night 

This is a fragment of a humorous ballad probably British by 
origin, though I have found it only in Virginia (JAFL viii 159-60; 
Davis lists it also, FSV 161). It tells how, when Thimble's scold- 
ing wife lay dead, he grieved at the thought that the diamond ring 
on her finger would be buried with her ; how, when the sexton 
came to cut off her finger and save the ring, the corpse rose up 

and screamed at him, 'D n you, you dog, you shall do no such 

thing !' and rushed off to the house, where her husband 



OLDER BALLADS — MOSTLY BRITISH 485 

looked from the casement and said with a grin, 
'You are dead, dearest duck, and I can't let you in.' 

The refrain lines in the Virginia version are from one of the 
forms of 'The Frog's Courtship,' running 

Heighho ! says Thimble 



With a rowley powley gammon and spinach, 
Heigho ! says Thimble. 

The distinctive "rowley powley" line has been lost from our North 
Carolina version. 

'Thimble Buried His Wife at Night. Reported by Isabel B. Busbee of 
Raleigh in December 1938, as learned from her great-aunt, Miss Louisa 
Nora Taylor, who lived from 1823 to 1914. 

Thimble buried his wife at night, 
*Heigh-ho,' said Thimble. 
'I grieve to sew up my heart's delight 
With a diamond ring on her finger so tight. 
Heigh-ho,' said Thimble. 

206 

Boys, Keep Away from the Girls 

Conceived probably as a retort to 'The Boys Won't Do to Trust,' 
but in a broader strain of humor. Henry reports it from Tennessee 
(SSSA 34) and Randolph from Missouri (OFS iii io6). 

'Boys, Keep Away from the Girls.' Reported by Julian P. Boyd in 
1927, presumably from some of his students in the school at Alliance, 
Pamlico county. 

I Love is such a very funny thing, 
And it catches the young and old 
Just like a plate of boarding-house hash, 
And many a man it has sold. 
Makes you feel like a fresh-water eel 

And causes your head to swell. 
Lose your mind — for love is blind — 
And empties your pocketbook as well. 

Chorus: 

Boys, keep away from the girls, I say, 

And give them lots of room. 

You'll find when you're wed they'll bang you till you're 

dead 
With the bald-headed end of the broom. 



486 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

2 Cross-eyed baby on each knee 

And a wife with a plaster on her nose. 
You'll find true love don't run so smooth 
When you have to wear second-handed clothes. 
Rent is high and the kids all cry 
'Cause they ain't got no grub to chaw. 
Holler for your son to load up the gun 
While you vaccinate your mother-in-law. 



207 

The Boys Won't Do to Trust 

The Archive of American Folk Song has a record of this from 
Kentucky; Davis reports it from Virginia (FSV 88) and Randolph 
from Missouri (OFS iii 216-18) ; further than that it has not been 
traced. Cf. SharpK 11 80. In subject matter it belongs with the 
Satirical Songs, volume III, section ix. 

'The Boys Won't Do to Trust.' From the manuscript songbook of 
Miss Edith Walker of Boone, Watauga county; copied out in 193b. 
(There is another copy of this contributed by Professor Abrams, but it 
does not differ significantly from Miss Walker's.) 

1 I own the boys are handsome 
And sweet as sweet can be. 

I own I love one dearly. 
And aren't you just Hke mer 

Chorus: 

No, they won't do to trust, 
No, they won't do to trust. 
I tell you, girls, I know them 
And the boys won't do to trust. 

2 They'll do to buy cheap whiskey 
And then get on a drunk. 

I'll tell you, girls, I know them 
And the boys won't do to trust. 

3 And you may start and wonder, 
And ask me in surprise 

Why a girl so young as I am 
Should chance to be so wise. 

4 I hate, I hate to tell you, 
But then suppose I must. 

I've learned from sad experience 
That the boys won't do to trust. 



II 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 



FROM A SNAKE bite on a pioneer Yankee farmer's heel to an 
iceberg splitting an ocean liner and a storm plunging a dirigible's 
crew to death — in the search for strong situations, one type of 
American ballads has played the gamut of mishaps and disaster. 
The oldest traditionally current ballad of American origin in the 
Frank C. Brown Collection, 'Springfield Mountain,' remembers the 
"pizen sarpent's" malevolence and a family's grief. It has not, 
however, maintained its elegiac tone so well as 'Young Charlotte,' 
a Vermont story about a young girl who froze to death on a sleigh 
ride one night in the 1830s. Another century-old lament for young 
people snuffed out by violent death is 'Three Drowned Sisters,' be- 
moaning an accident that might have occurred almost anywhere but 
actually took place in rural Pennsylvania, and was still sad enough 
to stir the emotion of a Caswell county. North Carolina, ballad 
singer. 'Floyd Collins,' a comparatively recent ballad, is a morbid 
handling of the pathos of suffering in unusual circumstances: 

Oh ! how the news did travel ! 
Oh ! how the news did go ! 
It traveled through the papers 
And over the radio ! 

The enormous diffusion of the piece by phonograph and by the 
other two media mentioned is one of the phenomena of modern 
communication which require fresh examination of the criteria 
of folk song. 'The Jam at Gerry's Rock,' 'Casey Jones,' and 'Wreck 
of Old Ninety-Seven' are older and better treatments of occupational 
disasters, making some effort to celebrate heroic courage in danger 
and death. 'The Ore Knob' is little more than a rude coronach of 
the mines. More generalized treatment of disasters is found in a 
number of ballads about wrecks. 'The Ship That Never Returned,' 
'The Titanic' (in several versions), and 'Lost on the Lady Elgin' 
commemorate sea disasters. The 'Train That Never Returned' and 
'Wreck of the Royal Palm,' deviating from the pattern of 'Casey 
Jones' and 'Old Ninety-Seven,' narrate train wrecks without heroes. 
The willingness of the ballad muse to adapt itself to the air age is 
exemplified by 'Wreck of the Shenandoah.' 

The history of American wars is sporadically glossed by a few 
ballads in this collection. 'Paul Jones,' once sung in the North 



488 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Carolina coast country, is a spirited account of a victory won by 
the Bonhomme Richard off the coast of England in 1778. From 
the War of 1812 comes 'James Bird,' one of the best and most 
moving of traditional American historical ballads. Various aspects 
of the American Civil War are presented in half a dozen pieces. 
Of these, 'The Cmnberland' is one of the liveliest American naval 
ballads coming down through tradition. Recovery of an orally sur- 
viving text of it on the North Carolina coast, where one would not 
expect "Yankee ballads" to be long remembered, was a curious 
piece of luck for the Frank C. Brown Collection. By a similar 
accident, 'The Dying Fifer,' another broadside, but of inferior 
quality, was remembered in the same locality. 'The Battle of 
Shiloh' and 'The Drummer Boy of Shiloh' dwell impartially upon 
the sadness of death and severed family ties. 'The Last Fierce 
Charge,' in elaborate and somewhat mannered style, quotes the ex- 
change of life-stories and the farewells of two soldiers, now Yankee, 
now Confederate (depending upon the version), about to die in 
battle. 'The Texas Rangers' obscurely chronicles an Indian fight 
in the West. Another group of songs views the Spanish-American 
War, with attempted heroics in 'Manila Bay,' with artificial pathos 
in three pieces about the Maine that hover between ballad and song, 
and with cynicism in 'That Bloody War.' The latter piece was also 
adapted to World War I, maintaining its songs-my-mother-never- 
taught-me tone. And the muse brings herself up to date with 'Just 
Remember Pearl Harbor,' a Negro recital of atrocities that pre- 
cipitated World War II. 

The outlaw ballad is but sparsely represented in the Frank C. 
Brown Collection, though this collection enjoys the distinction of 
recording two North Carolina traditional survivals of famous Robin 
Hood ballads. The best American example, however, 'Jesse James,' 
occurs in numerous versions and variants. So, too, does its inferior, 
'The Boston Burglar,' which is a slightly Americanized version of 
an English broadside. 'John Hardy,' from West Virginia, 'Claud 
Allen,' from just across the line in Virginia, 'Frank Dupree,' prob- 
ably from Georgia, and 'Kenny Wagner's Surrender,' from Mis- 
sissippi, are neighborly borrowings of a commodity which, it would 
seem, the North Carolina ballad-maker has not chosen to manu- 
facture out of local materials. 

Not so, however, with murder ballads. Of these, the North 
Carolina products, to be noted later, are in excess of importations. 
These latter include, in many variants, the somber 'Charles Guiteau' 
and the low-life 'Frankie and Albert' (or 'Johnny'), normally pres- 
ent in American collections. 'Florella' ('The Jealous^Lover'), of all 
American ballads, is most numerously represented in this as in most 
other American collections. It is one of the few native pieces with 
harmony of atmosphere, action, and tone, however crude these 
elements may be. The others with murder as the main core include 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 489 

four pieces about the brutal slaying of little girls — one concerning 
Mary Phagan, the others concerning Marian Parker. 

A few ballads of the Old West found their way into North 
Carolina favor. Among these is ']oe Bowers,' a humorous yarn 
of the hero's hardships and disappointment in the Gold Rush of 
1849. To students of American literature it is interesting as per- 
haps the first of the 'Pike County ballads,' later popularized by 
John Hay and Bret Harte. Like 'Joe Bowers' in some respects, 
but with an account of a sea voyage rather than an overland trek, 
and with a happier denouement, 'Sweet Jane' relates the odyssey 
of another Gold-Rusher. 'The Dying Cowboy' and 'Bury Me Not 
on the Lone Prairie' — both reworkings of older pieces — have been 
sung con amore from Manteo to Murphy. 

Several other common American ballad types are also represented 
by single pieces or at most a few. 'Jack Haggerty' is one of the 
rare raftsman pieces that have floated into North Carolina. A 
homiletic favorite, 'Wicked Polly,' in the fullest versions, presents 
the terrors of damnation with a vigor that reminds one of Michael 
Wigglesworth's 'Day of Doom,' a New England masterpiece of the 
species. 'The Blue Tail Fly' owes its currency as much to the mid- 
nineteenth-century exploitation of it by singing companies and 
minstrel troupes as to its intrinsic comedy. 

Of the comparatively few native American Negro ballads that 
have established themselves by firmness of structure and memorable- 
ness of content, 'John Henry' is easily first, rivaled only by 'The 
Ballet of the Boll Weevil.' Because of its relation to 'John Hardy' 
and its epic flavor, we have included it here, while placing 'The 
Ballet of the Boll Weevil' among the work songs. 'Asheville 
Junction, Swannanoa Tunnel' is a fragmentation of both 'John 
Hardy' and 'John Henry.' 

The final group of native American ballads is made up of pieces 
that demand recognition of their existence by sheer weight of 
popularity, not by intrinsic worth or historic interest: 'The Fatal 
Wedding,' 'Little Rosewood Casket,' 'Jack and Joe,' and 'They 
Say It Is Sinful to Flirt' and its sentimental sister 'The Little White 
Rose.' All of these have traveled far from their music-hall and 
parlor debuts. 



208 
Springfield Mountain 

The history of this song, probably the oldest piece of purely 
native American balladry, has been carefully worked out by Barry 
in successive numbers of the Bulletin of the Folk-Song Society of 
the Northeast. (Cf. also JAFL lix 530.) Originally a quite 
serious memorial to a young man who died of a snake bite in the 



490 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

eighteenth century, its wide currency is doubtless due to its having 
been taken up about a hundred years ago by two impersonators of 
the stage Yankee, George G. Spear and George H. Hill, and turned 
into a comic variety-stage piece. All of our North Carolina texts 
are of this character, A the least evidently so. 

A 
'On Springfield Mountain.' Reported by K. P. Lewis of Durham from 
the singing of Dr. Kemp P. Battle of Chapel Hill in 1910. 

1 On Springfield Mountain there once did dwell 
A likely youth, as I've heard tell, 
Lieutenant Curtis, only one,^ 

A likely youth, now twenty-one. 

2 Now this young man one day did go 
Into the meadow for to mow ; 

And as he mow-ed he did feel 
A pisen sarpent bite his heel. 

3 He threw his scythe upon the grass. 
'Ah me,' he cried, 'ah me, alas. 

To think that my life should break 
Because of the bite of this pizenous snake,' 

4 His mother then to him did go ; 
She sent for Dr. San Grado. 

He cut him deep with lancet cruel 
And gave him a dose of water gruel. 

5 Now this young man gave up the ghost. 
To the land of spirits he did post, 
A-singing, as along he went, 

'Oh, cru-el, cru-el, cru-el sarpent.' 



'The Serpent.' Reported by Mrs. Sutton from the singing of Myra 
Barnett (Mrs. J. J. Miller) of King's Creek in the Brushies, Caldwell 
county. Mrs. Sutton remarks that "This ballad is a great favorite with 
children," and that the tune, "played on the banjo, has lots of pep, a 
great spirit ; it never fails to raise a laugh, and the comments on the 
story show that John and the 'pizen ole sarpint' are very real to the 
kiddies." 

1 'John,' said Sal, 'why don't you go 

Away down yonder in the meadow for to mow ?' 
Li toddle dink a daylight, 
Li toddle dink a daylight, 
Li toddle dink a toddle dink a do dal day. 

2 John hadn't mowed more'n half around the field 
When a pizen old serpent bit him on the heel. 

* This third line should read "Lieutenant Curtis' only son." 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 49I 

3 'John P dear, what made you go 

Way down yonder in the meadow for to mow ?' 

4 'Sal I dear, I 'lowed you knowed 

It was Dad's hay and it had to be mowed.' 

4 Now John is dead, give up the ghost, 

In Abraham's bosom he departs^ ( reposes ).- 

6 Come all ye men of Adam's race 

And shun the bite of a great big snake. 

c 
'Rattle Snake.' Contributed by Miss Pearle Webb of Pineola, Avery 
county, in 1939. This is the stuttering form of the song found in many 
other places. 

1 A nice young ma-wa-wan 
Lived on a hi-wi-will 

A nice young ma-wa-wan 
For I knew him we-we-well. 
Refrain: 

To my rattle to my roo rah ree 

2 This nice young ma-wa-wan 
Went out for to mo-wo-wow 
To see if he-we-we 

Could make a show-wow-wow. 

3 He had not mow-wow-wowed 
Half round the fie-we-wield 

When up jumped a come a rattle come a sna-wa-wake 
And bit him on the he-we-weel. 

4 He laid right dow-wow-wown 
Upon the grow-wow-wownd 
And shut his ey-wy-eyes 

And looked all arou-wow-wownd. 

D 
'The Serpent.' A single stanza (identical with the first stanza and 
refrain of B) which seems to have been sung by H. C. Martin of 
Lenoir. At least it is on the same sheet of music with another sone that 
IS certainly his. 

E 
'Sarpint.' A single stanza copied oflf from a record made by W E 
Poovey of Marion, McDowell county, in June, 1924. 

' This T represents the long final syllable of "Johnny " and in the 
next stanza "Sally." 

These two guesses seem to show that the reporter here has forgotten 
how the line runs. The A text shows how the rhyme should run- "To 
Abraham s bosom he did post." 



492 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

I took my scythe one Sunday, you know, 
And went down to the meadow to mow. 
I scarcely had mowed across the field 
Till a dog-ged old blacksnake bit my heel. 

Sing humble drumble sticherei bum 

To me lick to me resom doo 



'Oh, Molly, Dear.' Again a single stanza, contributed by Bell Brandon 
of Durham. 

Oh, Molly, dear, why did you go 
Into the meadow for to mow? 
As you went walking through the field 
A black snake struck you on the heel 
And away you did go. 



'Hi O, Qiarleston Row.' Contributed by Charles R. Bagley of Moyock, 
Currituck county, in 1913, as heard from his grandparents. Only one 
stanza, and that seems to have drifted somewhat away from the original 
story. The refrain also is different. 

As gwine through the farmer's field 
A black snake bite me on my heel. 
I jumped up and run my best. 
Shoved my head in a hornet's nest. 

Chorus: 

Hi O, Charleston row 

Hi O, Charleston row 

I spend my money and spend it free 

'Cause the Charleston gals are the gals for me. 

209 
Young Charlotte 

The origin of this very widely known song was discovered by 
Barry and announced in the last issue of the Bulletin of the Folk- 
Song Society of the Northeast (xii 26). See BSM 308-9, and 
add to the references there given Massachusetts (FSONE 305-9), 
Ohio (BSO 278-83), Indiana (SFLQ in 201-3, v 172-4, HFLB 
III 13-14), Michigan (BSSM 126-9), Virginia (Davis FSV 72, 
listed), Florida (FSF 1 14-17). It is known by oral tradition pretty 
much all over the country and with surprisingly little variation in 
the text. There are three texts and a fragment in our collection, 
of which it will be sufficient to give only the fullest. The texts are : 

A From I. G. Greer of Boone, Watauga county. Fifteen four-line 
stanzas. 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 493 

B From Miss Amy Henderson of Burke county. An incomplete text, 
the first nine stanzas only. 

C From Mrs. Minnie Church, Heaton, Avery county, in 1930. 

D From Mrs. Sutton, Lenoir, Caldwell county, in October 1927. The 
opening stanza, copied from the musical score. 
The C text runs as follows : 

1 Young Charlotte lived by the mountain side 
In a wild and lonely spot ; 

No dwelling there for three miles round 
Except her father's cot. 

2 And yet on many a winter night 
Young swains would gather there ; 
For her father kept a social board 
And she was very fair. 

3 Her father liked to see her dressed 
As fine as a city belle ; 

For she was the only child he had, 
And he loved his daughter well. 

4 It was New Year's eve. The sun had set. 
Why looks her anxious eye 

So long from the frosty windows forth 
As the merry sleighs go by ? 

5 At the village inn fifteen miles ofT 
There's a merry ball tonight. 

The piercing air is cold as death 
But her heart is warm and light. 

6 But oh ! how laughs her beaming eye 
As a well known voice she hears 
And dashing up to the cottage door 
Young Charles with sleigh appears ! 

7 'Oh, daughter dear,' her mother said, 
'This blanket round you fold ; 

For it's a dreadful night abroad 
And you'll get your death of cold.' 

8 'No, mother, no,' fair Charlotte said. 
And she laughed like a Gypsy queen, 
'To ride in blankets all muffed up 

I never can be seen. 

9 'My silken coat is quite warm ; 
It's lined throughout, you know. 
Besides, I have a silken scarf 
Which around my neck I'll throw.' 



494 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

10 Her gloves were on, her bonnet tied; 
She jumped into the sleigh 

And away they ride by mountain side 
And o'er the hills so gay. 

11 There's life in the sound of the merry bells 
As o'er the hills they go. 

What a creaking sound the runners make 
As they bite the frozen snow ! 

12 With muffled faces, silently 
O'er five long miles they pass, 
When Charlie with these frozen words 
The silence broke at last : 

13 'Such a night as this I never saw; 
The reins I scarce can hold.' 

When Charlotte, shivering, faintly said : 
'Oh, I am very cold.' 

14 He cracked his whip and urged his team 
More swiftly than before, 

Until five other dreary miles 
In silence were passed o'er. 

15 'Oh, see,' said Charles, 'how fast the frost 
Is gathering on my brow' ; 

When Charlotte said in a feeble voice, 
'I'm growing warmer now.' 

16 And on they ride through the frosty air 
And the glittering cold starlight. 
Until at last the village inn 

And ballroom are in sight. 

17 They searched the inn and Charlie jumped 
And held his arms to her. 

'Why sit you like a monument 
Within is power to stir?'^ 

18 He called her once, he called her twice ; 
She answered not one word. 

He called her by her name again, 
But still she never stirred. 

19 He took her hand in his ; oh God, 
'Twas cold and hard as stone. 

He tore the mantle from her brow 
And there the cold stars shone. 

' In the first line of this stanza "searched" is evidently miswritten for 
"reached" and there should be an "out" at the end of the line ; and the 
last line should read "That hath no power to stir." 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 495 

20 And then into the Hghted hall 
Her lifeless form he bore. 

For Charlotte was a frozen corpse 
And words spoke never more. 

21 He threw his arms around her neck 
And kissed her marble brow ; 

And his thoughts went back to where she said, 
'I'm growing warmer now.' 

210 

The Three Drowned Sisters 

This is a version of a song published in Gardner and Chickering 
BSSM 301-2 under the title Three Girls Drowned' (with music), 
from the singing of Mr. E. W. Harns, Greenville, Michigan, "who 
learned the song from his mother. Mr. Harns said that these girls 
were drowned in Elk Creek, which ran through his parents' farm in 
Erie county, Pennsylvania. His parents knew the girls, who lived 
only a few miles from their farm when this tragedy took place in 
1849." The editors of BSSM refer to " 'an original copy' of the 
song, 'Three Voices from the Grave,' which is more than twice the 
length of the Michigan text, although the story remains the same." 

'The Three Drowned Sisters' has the following passages rather 
closely corresponding to passages in 'Three Girls Drowned': (l) 
stanza 3, 11. 3-4 to 

Bright forked lightning flashed around 
While awful thunder shook the ground; 

(2) Stanza 4, 11. 3-4 to 

In God's own house they did repair 
With young John Ash to worship there; 



(3) Stanza 5 to 



A prayer of hymn and praises sung 

As they rode back to Washington. 

A following stream they thought to ford. 

Which sent their spirits back to God ; 

(4) Stanza 6 to 

Lucinda Phelps, Harriet Strong, 
Elizabeth Ash, all three are gone. 

The rolling current stopped their breath 
And left their bodies cold in death. 

Otherwise, though telling substantially the same story, the two ver- 
sions differ considerably. 

'The Three Drowned Sisters.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. 



496 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 Let truth and wisdom guide my pen 
While writing to the sons of men. 
The captain asks us to relate, 
Concerning three young ladies' fate. 

2 'Twas on the twenty-fourth of June, 
The summer flowers in their bloom ; 
The month, the year, the day, and time 
Was eighteen hundred sixty-nine. 

3 Dark clouds and tempests had arose 
Their fearful ... to disclose. 

The ligl^tning flashed all around. 
And awful thunder shook the ground. 

4 Was just before the day described 
To . . . those three did ride. 

In God's own house they did prepane 
With young John Ashe to worship there. 

5 They hymns of praise there then they sung 
As they rode back to Washington. 

Their thoughts of swelling streams to ford 
Which sent their spirits to the Lord. 

6 Lauranda Philips and Marion Strong, 
With Elizabeth Ashe — those three are gone. 
The rolling torrent stopped their breath 
And left their bodies cold in death. 

7 The mournful tidings soon went round 
That those three ladies all were drowned, 
Which filled their friends with deep despair 
And overwhelmed tlieir hearts with care. 

8 The people went and searched around. 

At French Creek their dead bodies found. 
And in the coroner's house were laid 
Their funeral. . . . 

9 Take warning, all you friends who weep. 
That His commandments you're to keep. 
His precious hand on that great day 
Will wipe your flowing tears away. 



211 

The Ore Knob 

There is no Ore Knob mine or town in atlases of North Carolina. 
The informant's home, Vox, is in Alleghany county. The nearest 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 497 

place with a name similar to Ore Knob is Orebank, close to Kings- 
port, Tennessee. The Century Atlas (c. 191 1) locates a village 
named Oreknob in Pike county, eastern Kentucky. In 1896 there 
was an Ore Hill in Chatham county, North Carolina. The Chatham 
Record (Pittsboro) for May 28, 1896, reports the organization of 
a company to set up a furnace and "get the mine at Ore Hill in 
shape for mining ore," and in its issue of June 4 it reports progress 
of the project. O. Strickland and Raymond Campbell, of Pittsboro, 
both of whom once worked in coal mines within the Chatham-Lee 
counties area, state that there was considerable mining until about 
1927, when operations ceased in consequence of several disasters. 
All of the places named are in mining country, and any of them 
might have been the .scene of this coronach. 

'The Ore Knob.' From Miss Lura Wagoner, Vox, in a "MS book of 
songs loaned F. C. B. in August 1936. Several of the songs are dated, 
some 1911, some 1913. Many . . . were copied by F. C. B. without 
name, date, or place" (N. I. W.). 

1 Come, blooming youth in the midst of day 
And see how soon some pass away. 

There was two men that worked with us here. 
What became of them you soon shall hear. 

2 They worked all day until evening tide 
Before the ground it made a slide. 

At fifty minutes after five 

They was healthy men and yet alive. 

3 Before the whistle blew for six 

Their death was cast, their doom was fixed ; 
The rocks and dirt came tumbling down, 
And under it those men were found. 

4 Both cold and dead and could not live 
For God had took the spark he gave. 

They was brought to the top, a dreadful sight. 
How lonesome was that Tuesday night. 

5 Poor Sherley and Smith, how much we miss them 
Around the Ore Knob today. 

We hope they are gone to a world of bliss, 
But none of us we dare to say. 

6 But with the Lord there's nothing strange; 
He can their hearts in a moment change. 
We hope he did their hearts renew 

And receive them in that heavenly care. 

7 Poor Sherley had a wife and children dear, 
And Smith had a mother this news to hear. 
We hope they all for consolation 

To read and believe John's Revelation, 



498 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

8 That says the dead will one day rise 
And saints will mount them upward skies 
And sing with the angels and adore, 
Where friends that meet will part no more. 

9 Let us take heed when the scripture say 
That we must watch as well as pray, 
For in a hour when the least if thought. 
The summons of death it may be brought. 



Floyd Collins 

Floyd Collins descended into a "sandhole" cave, near Mammoth 
Cave, Kentucky, on January 30, 1925. Missed next day, he was 
found by his brother, trapped by a landslide. Attempts to rescue 
him, continuing until February 16, when he was discovered to be 
dead, excited the whole nation. Oland D. Russell, who wrote a 
-summary account of the occurrence, in "Floyd Collins in the Sand 
Cave," American Mercury, November 1937, concludes with the re- 
mark: "Phonograph records that recited The Death of Floyd Col- 
lins in doleful lament to the accompaniment of hillbilly music 
outsold all other of the Americana series for a few years, but they 
are no longer on the market." He quotes a version from which the 
following differs in a number of verbal details which suggest oral 
transmission. Perhaps no American ballad owes more, for its wide 
diffusion, to the phonograph than does 'Floyd Collins.' 



'Floyd Collins.' From the manuscript book of Miss Edith Walker, 
Boone, with a note accompanying the transcript which shows how de- 
tails of Collins's misfortune have become folklore: 

Floyd Collins was a young man who spent much of his time exploring 
old caves. He had been wanting to explore an old sandstone cave in 
Kentucky. Before he entered the cave it is said that he dreamed that 
he was imprisoned there. He told his dream to his parents and they 
begged him not to explore the standstone cave. However, their pleadings 
were in vain. Floyd entered the cave and it fell in on him, catching 
him by the leg Doctors went into the cave and amputated his leg, 
hoping to save him thus. [According to Russell, op. cit., amputation was 
impractical because the surgeons could not reach Collins's leg.] Before 
he could get out, the cave fell in on him again. The doctors escaped, 
but he could not. For quite a time the rescue party communicated with 
him and fed him through pipes. During this time they were trying to 
reach him by digging through the mountain to him, and they had almost 
reached his body when he died. 

Of a version close to Miss Walker's, Jean Thomas, in Blue Ridge 
Mountain Country (New York, 1942), p. 237, says: "This ballad was 
written by fifty-year-old Adam Crisp who lived in Fletcher, North 
Carolina, at the time of Collins' death. Crisp could neither read nor 
write but composed many ballads." 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 499 

I O come all you young people 
And listen while I tell 
The fate of Floyd Collins, 
A lad we all knew well. 
His face was fair and handsome ; 
His heart was true and brave. 
His body now lies sleeping 
In a lonely sandstone cave. 

2 How sad, how sad the story- 
It fills our eyes with tears. 
The memory, too, shall linger 
For many, many years. 
A broken-hearted father 
Who tried his boy to save 
Will now weep tears of sorrow 
At the door of Floyd's cave. 

3 'O mother, don't you worry. 
Dear father, don't be sad. 
I'll tell you all my troubles 
In an awful dream I had. 

I dreamed I was a prisoner; 
My life I could not save. 
I cried, "Oh, must I perish 
Within this silent cave ?" ' 

4 The rescue party labored, 

It worked both night and day. 
To move the mighty barrier 
That stood within the way. 
To rescue Floyd Collins, 
This was their battle cry : 
'We'll never, no, we'll never 
Let Floyd Collins die !' 

5 But on that fatal morning 
The sun rose in the sky. 
The workers still were busy: 
'We'll save him by and by!' 
But oh, how sad the ending: 
His life they could not save. 
His body then lay sleeping 
In the lonely sandstone cave 

6 O, come all you young people. 
And listen to Floyd's fate. 
And get right with your Maker 
Before it is too late. 



500 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

It may not be a sand cave 
In which we find our tomb, 
But at the bar of judgment 
We, too, must meet our doom. 



'Floyd Collins' Death.' From Miss Pauline Miller ; without date or 
address. The only significant differences occur in the last stanza. 

6 Young people, all take warning — 
This is for you and I : 

We may not be like Collins, 
But you and I must die. 
It may not be in sandstone cave 
In which we find our home 
But at the Mighty Judgment 
We all must meet our doom. 

c 

'Floyd Collins.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. Eighteen 
four-line stanzas, the first six of which correspond, with verbal variations, 
to the first three eight-line stanzas of A. Stanzas 7-12 (printed below) 
add details not present in the other versions. Stanzas 13-18 then cor- 
respond to stanzas 4-6 of A. 

7 'Oh ! Floyd,' cried his mother, 
'Don't go, my son, don't go. 

It would leave us broken hearted 
If this should happen so.' 

8 Though Floyd did not listen 
To advice his mother gave. 
So his body now lies sleeping 
In a lonely sandstone cave. 

9 His father often warned him 
From follies to desist ; 

He told him of the danger. 
And of the awful risk, 

10 But Floyd would not listen 
To advice his father gave. 
So his body now lies sleeping 
In a lonely sandstone cave. 

11 Oh ! how the news did travel ; 
Oh ! how the news did go. 

It traveled through the papers 
And over the radio. 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 501 

12 A rescue party gathered; 
His life they could not save. 
But his body now lies sleeping 
In a lonely sandstone cave. 

213 

The Jam at Gerry's Rock 

Mrs. Eckstorm (MM 176-98) has made a careful study of the 
origin and history of this woodsman's song, and it has been ably 
supplemented by Phillips Barry (BFSSNE xii 22-3). It seems 
that it originated in Maine, some time shortly after the close of the 
Civil War, and has spread pretty much wherever river-drivers have 
gone to carry on their dangerous trade. Barry recognizes two 
forms of it, one of which shows the influence of Canadian loggers 
in Maine. Neither the hero of it nor the girl nor the "Gerry's 
Rock" that is the scene of the incident can now be identified. Mrs. 
Eckstorm pretty thoroughly demolishes Gray's theory that it is the 
spontaneous creation of a communal throng (SBML xv-xvi). The 
ballad has even found its way to Scotland, Cox says (FSS 256) ; 
it has been reported as folk song from Newfoundland (BSSN 
331-3), Nova Scotia (BSSNS (367-70), Maine (MM 82-90, 
SBML 3-9, MWS 52-3, FSONE 217-20, BFSSNE x 18-20, xii 
21-3 — this last really from New Hampshire), Vermont (NGMS 
44-6), Pennsylvania (NPM 83-5), West Virginia (FSS 236-8), 
Michigan (BSSM 272-3, SML 133-6), Wisconsin (BSSB 15-18), 
Minnesota (BSSB 11-14, Dean 25-6), North Dakota (BSSB 19), 
Oregon (ASb 394-5). and Florida (FSF 107-9). Barry (BFSSNE 
XII 22) mentions an unpublished text from New Brunswick. Only 
one of the three texts in our collection is strictly speaking from 
North Carolina tradition; but the interest of the ballad is such that 
it seems best to give here all of them, for comparison with the other 
texts listed above. 

A 
No title. Given to Mrs. Vance at Plumtree, Avery county, by a stu- 
dent, Miss Dorothy Royall, of Shelby, Wisconsin. A text originating — 
see stanzas 3 and 4 — among woodsmen from Canada. 

1 Come all ye brave shanty-boys, wherever ye may be, 
I would have you pay attention and listen unto me. 

For it concerns a shanty-boy so noble, true, and brave. 
Who broke the jam on Garry's rock and met with a watery 
grave, 

2 It was on a Sunday morning, as you shall quickly hear. 
The logs were piling mountain high, we could not keep 

them clear. 
'Cheer up, cheer up ! brave-hearted youths, relieve your 

hearts of fear; 
We'll break this jam on Garry's Rock and to Saginaw we 

will steer.' 



502 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

3 Now some of them were willing, while others they were not. 
To work a jam on Sunday they did not think they ought; 
Till six of our Canadian boys did volunteer to go 

And break the jam on Garry's Rock with their foreman, 
young Monroe. 

4 They had not picked off many logs when the boss to them 

did say : 
'I would have you be on your guard, for the jam will soon 

give way.' 
His lips to this short warning scarce gave vent when the 

jam did go 
And carried away the six brave Canadian youths and the 

foreman, young Monroe. 

5 Now when the boys up at the camp the news they came to 

hear, 
In search of their dead bodies to the river they did steer; 
And they found to their surprise, their sorrow, grief, and 

woe. 
All bruised and mangled on the beach lay the corpse of 

young Monroe. 

6 They picked him up most tenderly, smoothed down his 

raven hair. 
There was one among the watchers whose cries did rend 

the air. 
This fair one most distracted was a girl from Saginaw 

town. 
And her wails and cries did reach the skies for her true 

love who was drowned. 

7 The Missus Clark, a widow, lived by the riverside. 

This was her only daughter (and Jack's intended bride). 
So the wages of her own true love the boss to her did pay, 
And a liberal subscription was made up by the shanty-boys 
next day. 

8 When she received the money she thanked them, every one, 
Though it was not her portion to live for very long ; 

And it was just six weeks or more when she was called 

to go. 
And her last request was to be laid to rest by the side of 

young Monroe. 

9 They buried him most decently ('twas on the fourth of 

May). 
Come one and all, ye shanty-boys, and for a comrade pray. 
Engraven on a hemlock tree which by the beach did grow 
Was the name and date of this sad fate of the foreman, 

John Monroe. 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 



503 



The Jam at Gerry s Rock; or, Young Monroe.' Contributed by E. Emer- 
son of Ldgecombe, Maine ; the manuscript does not say when or through 
whom It was secured. This text is fairly close to A, and yet has some 
mterestmg variants. Note the repeated objection to working on Sunday, 
stanzas 3 and 6. o j, 

1 Come on, all you brave shanty boys, and list while I relate. 
I'll sing about a shanty boy and his untimely fate. 

This river man, called Young Monroe, so manly, true and 

brave, 
He broke the jam at Gerry's Rock, and found a wat'ry 

grave. 

2 'Twas on a Sunday morning, as you will quickly hear. 
Our logs were piled up mountain high; we could not keep 

them clear. 

Our foreman said, 'Come on, brave boys, with hearts de- 
void of fear; 

We'll break the jam at Gerry's Rock, for Agon's town 
we'll steer.' 

3 Now some of them were willing, while others they were not. 
To go to work on Sunday wasn't right, they hadn't ought 
But SIX of our brave shanty boys they volunteered to go 
And break the jam at Gerry's Rock with foreman Young 

Monroe. ^ 

4 Now when they got out on the jam, the foreman and his 

crew, 

The logs were rolled up mountain high ; it was a frightful 
view. ** 

They had not rolled off many logs before they heard him 

say, 
•I'd have you boys be on your guard; the jam will soon 

give way. 

5 These words he'd scarcely spoken when the jam did break 

and go. 
And with it went those six brave boys and foreman Young 

Monroe. * 

Six of their mangled bodies floating down the stream did go 
While crushed and bleeding near the banks lay foreman 

Young Monroe. 

6 Those shanty boys upon the shore beheld the awful sight 
They shook their heads and said to work on Sunday wasn't 

right. 
The first they found was Young Monroe ; brushed back his 
raven hair. 



504 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

And when his sweetheart knew him, how her cries did rend 
the air ! 

7 Fair Clara was a noble girl, the riverman's true friend. 
She and her widowed mother lived down at the river's 

bend. 
The wages of her own true love the boss to her did pay 
While shanty boys made up for her a generous sum next 

day. 

8 They buried him quite decently, upon the first of May, 
And all the brave young shanty boys did gather round to 

pray. 
Engraved upon the hemlock tree that by the grave does 

grow 
You'll find the date of that sad fate of foreman Young 

Monroe. 

9 Fair Clara did not long survive ; her heart it broke with 

grief, 
And less than three months afterwards death came to her 

relief. 
Her time had come, and she was glad, because she wanted 

so 
To join her own true lover and be laid by Young Monroe. 

10 For if you're ever down that way I'd have you call and see 
Two green graves by the riverside where grows a hemlock 

tree. 
The shanty boys carved in the wood where lay these lovers 

low, 
"Tis handsome Clara Vernon and her true love. Jack 

Monroe.' 

c 

'The Death of Young Monroe.' From the John Burch Blaylock Col- 
lection. This is the only one of our three texts that shows the song 
current in North Carolina. 

1 Come all you jolly shanty boys, I would have you to draw 

near 
And listen to a story I mean to let you hear 
About a gallant shanty lad, so manful and so brave. 
Who on the jam at Garry's Rock met with his watery 

grave. 

2 'Twas on a Sunday morning, about the first of May. 
Our logs were piled up mountain high ; we could not clear 

the way. 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 505 

The foreman said, 'Turn out, my boys, regardless of all 

fear; 
And we'll break the jam on Garry's Rock and to Saginaw 

town we'll steer.' 

There were some who were not afraid to go, while others 
they hung back ; 

A-working on a Sunday they did not think it right. 

There were six brave young Canadian youths who volun- 
teered to go 

And break the jam on Garry's Rock with their foreman, 
young Monroe, 

They had not rolled 'way many a log when their foreman 
he did say, 

T would have you on your guard, my boys, this jam will 
soon give way.' 

These words had scarce been spoken when the jam did 
break and go 

And carried away those six brave youths, with their fore- 
man, young Monroe. 

When the rest of these brave shanty boys this sad news 

came to hear, 
In search of their dead comrades to the river they did steer. 
In search of their dead comrades to the river they did go. 
All bruised and mangled on the rocks lay the body of young 

Monroe. 

They took him from his watery tomb and smoothed his 

waving hair. 
There was one fair form among them whose cries would 

rend the air ; 
There was one fair form among them who had come from 

Saginaw town, 
Whose mournful cries would rend the air for the lover 

who had drowned. 

They buried him most decently, being on the third of May. 
Come all you jolly shanty boys who may chance to pass 

this way. 
On a marble slab by the river's bend, where the hemlock 

trees do grow, 
Engraved is the name and the date of the death of our 

hero, young Monroe. 

Miss Clara was a noble girl, likewise the raftsmen's friend. 
Her mother was a widow, lived by the river's bend. 
The foreman he gave to her all her dead lover's pay. 



506 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Likewise a liberal subscription was raised by the boys next 
day. 

9 Miss Clara had not long to mourn her sorrow and her 
grief ; 
In less than three weeks after, death came to her relief. 
In less than three weeks after, death called on her to go; 
And her last wish it was granted — to be buried by young 
Monroe. 

10 They buried her most decently, being on the twentieth of 

May. 
Come all of you young people who may chance to pass this 

way. 
On a little knoll by the river's bend, where the hemlock 

trees do grow. 
Lies the body of Miss Clara Belle of Saginaw town and 

her lover, young Monroe. 

214 
Lost on the Lady Elgin 

Miss Pound (ABS 134-135) has a version of this song which is 
almost the same as the one given below. There are two verbal 
differences in the chorus and in stanzas i and 2. Miss Pound 
does not print the third stanza. The song commemorates a wreck 
on Lake Michigan in i860. Wehman printed it as a broadside (No. 
988) ; copyright, 1861, by H. M. Higgins. 

'Lost on the Lady Elgin.' From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. 

1 Up from the poor man's cottage, 
Forth from the mansion's door. 
Sweeping across the waters 
And echoing 'long the shore ; 
Caught by the morning breezes, 
Borne on the evening's gale, 
Cometh a cry a-mourning, 
And a sad and solemn wail. 

Chorus: 

Lost on the Lady Elgin, 
Sleeping to wake no more, 
Numbered among the three hundred 
Who failed to reach the shore. 

2 Oh, 'tis the cry of children 
Weeping for parents gone, 
Children who slept at evening. 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 507 

But orphans who woke at dawn ; 
Sisters for brothers weeping, 
Husbands for missing wives — 
Such were the ties to sever 
With those three hundred Hves. 

Staunch was the noble steamer; 
Precious the freight she bore; 
Gaily she loosed her cables 
A few short hours before. 
Grandly she swept our harbors ; 
Joyfully rang her bell ; 
Little thought that ere morning 
'T would ring so sad a knell. 



215 
The Ship That Never Returned 

One of the more successful of Henry C. Work's songs (copy- 
righted in 1865). It has been reported as folk song from Kentucky 
(Shearin T)^, ASb 146), Tennessee (FSSH 369), North Carolina 
(JAFL XXVIII 171-2), Indiana (SFLQ iv 201), Michigan (BSSM 
482, listed merely), Virginia (Davis FSV 106, listed), and in Miss 
Pound's syllabus. It is doubtless much more widely remembered 
than this list indicates. Its popularity is attested by the parodies 
it has prompted — see below. The numerous copies of Work's song 
in our collection do not differ significantly, so that it will be suffi- 
cient to give one of them. Our eleven copies, all with the title 
given above, are : 

A From the manuscript songbook of Miss Edith Walker of Boone, 
Watauga county. Text given below. 

B From the manuscript of Mrs. Mary Martin Copley of Durham, 
secured by Jesse T. Carpenter, apparently in 1923. 

C Secured by Julian P. Boyd, Alliance, Pamlico county, in 1927 from 
Catherine Bennett, a pupil in the school there. 

D From J. B. Midgett, Jr., of Wanchese, Roanoke Island, in 1922. 

E From Loy V. Harris, Durham, of the class of 1924 at Trinity College. 

F From O. L. Coffey of Shull's Mills, Watauga county, in 1939. 

G From Ruth Efird of Stanly county. Not dated. 

H From B. C. Reavis, date and place not indicated. With the tune. 

I From EfFie Tucker. Date and place not indicated. 

J From the 'My Favorite Song' column of the Monroe Journal (Monroe. 
Union county), November, 191 6. 

K From the John Burch Blaylock Collection. 



508 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 On a summer day, as the waves were rippling 
By the soft, gentle breeze, 

Did a ship set sail with her cargo laden 

For a port beyond the seas. 

There were sweet farewells, there were loving signals, 

And her fate was yet unlearned ; 

Though they knew it not, 'twas a solemn party 

On the ship that never returned. 

Chorus: 

Did she ever return? She never returned, 

And her fate was yet unlearned. 

Though for years and years there were fond ones waiting 

For the ship that never returned. 

2 Said a feeble lad to his anxious mother, 
'I must cross the wide, wide sea ; 

For they say, perchance, in a foreign clime 

There is health and strength for me.' 

'Twas a gleam of hope in a maze of danger 

And her heart for her youngest yearned, 

Though she sent him forth with a smile and blessing 

On the ship that never returned. 

3 'Only one more trip,' said a gallant seaman 
As he kissed his weeping wife, 

'Only one more bag of golden treasure 

And 'twill last us all through life. 

Then we'll spend our days in our cozy cottage 

And enjoy the sweet rest we earned.' 

But alas, poor man, who sailed commander 

On the ship that never returned. 

Of the parodies or imitations of Work's song there are two in 
our collection. One might be called 'The Face That Never Re- 
turned' : 

a 
'The Parted Lover.' From the manuscript of Mrs. Mary Martin Copley, 
Route 8, Durham, obtained by Jesse T. Carpenter, probably in 1923. 

I She was young and fair, he was tall and handsome, 
And they loved each other dear. 
But he rode away to a foreign country 
For to see[k] his fortunes there. 

Chorus: 

Did he ever return? No, he never returned, 
And her heart has often yearned ; 
And with anxious eyes she's been watching, longing 
For the face that never returned. 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS SOQ 

2 Hasty words were passed, caused their separation; 
They were words all harmless too, 

But they broke the hearts of this loyal couple 
That has always been so true. 

3 She had said to him, in an angry passion, 
That he might forever go, 

And his heart was broke with this cruel message, 
Yet he left this maiden so. 

4 When he roves about over hills and valleys, 
Let him go where'er he will, 

Still his mind reverts, while his heart is breaking, 
Of^ that girl he loved so well. 

5 When the evening shade gathers round her^ slowly 
Then his heart is filled with pain, 

As he thinks of her who has caused this anguish; 
Shall he ever see her again? 

6 She looks tried^ and worn, and her cheeks are paling, 
And her steps are becoming slow, 

And her eyes are dim with excessive weeping, 
And her voice is soft and low ; 

y And at night the tears bathed her cheeks and pillow 
While her head is crushed with pain. 
And she cries, 'O God, keep my absent lover ! 
Bring him back to me again.' 

8 Now, young men and maids, from my song take warning 
Or your hearts will break with pain. 
Never speak harsh words to a faithful lover 
Or he'll leave you to never return. 

b 
'Lovers Parted.' Contributed by Professor Abrams from Boone, Watauga 
county, some time in 1935 or 1936. It does not differ significantly from a. 



The other parody of Work's song in our collection is 'The Train 
That Never Returned,' obtained from the manuscripts of Obadiah 
Johnson of Crossnore, Avery county, in July 1940. It is also in 
part of a memory of 'Casey Jones.' The chorus is the same as that of 
'The Parted Lovers.' Perrow (JAFL xxviii 171) printed a text 
from North Carolina whites. It is noted elsewhere that the first 
stanza and the chorus appear, with some differences, in 'The Wreck 
of the Old Ninety-Seven.' 

* So the manuscript ; evidently it should be "To." 

* One expects "him." 

* Miswritten, probably, for "tired." 



510 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 I was going round the mountain one cold winter day, 
A-watchin' the steam boil up high. 

It was from a fast train on the C and O railway, 
And the engineer waved me goodby. 

Chorus: 

Did she never return? No, she never returned, 
Tho the train was due at one. 

For hours and hours the watchman stood waiting 
For the train that never returned. 

2 His sweet little wife came up to the station. 
Says, 'Last night my heart did yearn ; 

I dreamed last night, and it's still in my mem'ry ; 
I'm afraid she will never return.' 

3 'Go back, sweet wife,' said the drunken conductor 
As he waved his cap with delight, 

'If the wheels will roll and the engine stay sober 
We will all reach home tonight.' 

2l6 

Casey Jones 

This is probably the best known and most widely sung of all the 
songs dealing with the life of men that work for the railroad. 
Spaeth, Read 'Em and Weep 119-22, says it is the work of "two 
actual railroad men, T. Lawrence Seibert and Eddie Newton," but 
assigns no date; Sandburg (ASb 366) notes its wide currency but 
is not specific as to its origin; Miss Pound (ABS 250) calls the 
Seibert and Newton form of it (which was published in 1909) the 
"vaudeville version," and says, on the authority of Barry, that the 
hero of the story was really John Luther Jones, engineer of the 
Chicago and New Orleans Limited, who was killed in a wreck 
March 18, 1900, and that the song was composed by Wallace 
Saunders, a Negro. It is so generally known and sung that no 
attempt is made here to trace it geographically. An Associated 
Press dispatch from Jackson, Tenn., stated that on August 7, 1947, 
a monument to Casey Jones was unveiled at that place. In 1950 
the fiftieth anniversary of the wreck was commemorated by a special 
United States three-cent postage stamp picturing Casey Jones and 
his locomotive, and by a celebration at Jackson, Tennessee. 

A 
'Casey Jones.' From the manuscripts of G. S. Robinson of Asheville. 
copied out August 4, 1939. Evidently the vaudeville version. 

I Come all you rounders if you want to hear 
The story about a brave engineer. 
Casey Jones was the rounder's name ; 
On a six-eight wheeler, boys, he won his fame. 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 511 

The caller called Casey at half past four. 

He kissed his wife at the station door, 

He mounted to the cab with his orders in his hand, 

And he took a farewell trip to the Promised Land. 

Casey Jones mounted to his cabin, 

Casey Jones with his orders in his hand ; 

Casey Jones mounted to his cabin, 

He took a farewell trip to the Promised Land.^ 

'Turn on your water, shovel in your coal. 

Put your head out the window, watch your drivers roll ; 

I'll run her till she leaves the rail, 

For I'm eight hours late with the western mail.' 

He looked at his watch and his watch was slow, 
He looked at his water and his water was low. 
He turned to his fireman and he said, 
'We're going to reach Frisco but we'll all be dead.' 

Casey Jones, we're going to reach Frisco, 

Casey Jones, but we'll all be dead. 

Casey Jones, we're going to reach Frisco, 

We're going to reach Frisco but we'll all be dead.^ 

Casey pulled up that Reno hill. 
Tooted for the crossing with an awful thrill ; 
The switchman knew by the engine's moan 
That the man at the throttle was Casey Jones. 

And when they got in about two miles of the place 

The coal sparks fired him right in the face. 

He turned to his fireman and he said, 

'We're going to reach Frisco, but we'll all be dead.' 

Casey said just before he died 

There was two more roads that he wanted to ride. 
Everybody wondered what roads that could be : 
Across Colorado and the Santa Fe. 

Mrs. Jones sat on her bed a-sighing. 

Just received a message that Casey was dying. 

She said, 'Go to bed, children, and hush your crying, 

You've got another papa on the Salt Lake line.' 



There is in the Collection another text without contributor's name. 
It does not differ materially from Robinson's, but upon it Dr. Brown 
has written an interesting note : "Author died at "j-j, in August, 1940. 

' Although not so marked in the manuscript, this stanza is the chorus. 

* This again is a chorus stanza. 



512 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

Written in 1888. The original of this song is still living (1940) at 
Silver Spring, Maryland." One would like to know just where Dr. 
Brown found this information. 



217 
The Wreck of the Old Ninety-Seven 

'The Wreck of the Old Ninety-Seven' has left a mazy record in 
court reports as well as in folk song. The following- account of 
the history of the song has been drawn mainly from Federal Re- 
porter, Second Series, 69 (April-May, 1934), 871 ff., reporting 
"Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Dis- 
trict of New Jersey," tried in the Circuit Court of Appeals, Third 
Circuit, January 3, 1934: "Suit by David Graves George against 
the Victor Talking Machine Company." The District Court had 
awarded George damages, adjudging him^ to be the author of 'The 
Wreck of the Old Ninety-Seven,' which th'e Victor Talking Machine 
Company had recorded and sold at great profit. From this decree 
the Victor Talking Machine Company was appealing. 

On September 27, 1903, a Sunday train, No. 97, which ran over the 
Southern Railway from Washington to Atlanta, was late at Lynchburg 
and in making up lost time, its engineer ran it at a high rate of speed 
on a steep grade down one side of White Oak Mountain, just north of 
Danville, Va. As the train reached a curving trestle, it left the tracks 
and plunged into a ravine below. The crew was killed and the train was 
completely destroyed. 

To the court's brief account of the wreck should be added some 
details given one of the editors of the Frank C. Brown Collection 
by Mrs Ruth M. Carter, of Greensboro, North Carolina, in the 
summer of 1944. "My father," she wrote, "has been for many years 
an engineer on the Southern Railroad. I have often heard him speak 
of his personal acquaintance and association with many of the men 
about whom some of these songs were written." In her account. 
Mrs. Carter explained that Number 97 was a fast mail train and 
carried no passengers, only the crew and the mail clerks. "The 
engineer," she stated, "was Joe Broady, of Spencer, North Caro- 
lina, and his fireman was a white man named Clapp. In this latter 
respect, the ballad differs from the facts, for in the song Mr. Clapp 
is spoken of as 'his black, greasy fireman.' The regular conductor, 
a Mr. Aaron of Spencer, had marked off for that trip, on account 
of illness, and is still living and railroading on the Southern. Mr. 
Broady's brother is at present an engineer, running over the same 
division on which Joe was killed." 

To continue from Federal Reporter. 

Quite a number of songs were written by different persons to com- 
memorate this sad event. The testimony shows that shortly after the 
accident one was written by Fred Lewey, another by Charlie Noell, and 
a third is alleged to have been written by the plaintiff, David Graves 
George. Afterwards others were written. 

These songs, more or less alike, became very popular in and about 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 513 

Fries, Monroe, Lynchburg, Gretna, Lima, Danville, and Spencer,^ Va., 
and were sung to the music of instruments such as guitars and banjos 
at country gatherings, in plank taverns, and under electric lights on 
street corners on summer nights. They then mostly passed into disuse 
and were even forgotten for many years, except at Fries, where they 
seem to have been kept alive largely through the singing and playing of 
Henry Whitter, an accomplished musician, who played a double accom- 
paniment of the guitar and harmonica. 

With the dramatic instinct of a real musician, Whitter shortened 
Noell's song and made it more "peppy" by changing a few words and 
quickening the time of the music of the song known as "The Ship That 
Never Returned," to which he sang it. He added the concluding stanza 
from the song of "The Parted Lovers." His rendition follows :* 



They gave him up his orders at Monroe, Virginia, 
Saying Steve you're way behind time, 
This is not 'Thirty Eight' but it's 'Old Ninety-Seven,' 
You must put her in Spencer on time. 

2 

Steve Brooklyn said to his black greasy fireman. 
Just shovel on a little more coal, 
And when we cross the White Oak Mountain, 
You can watch old Ninety-Seven roll. 

3 
It's a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville, 
And a line on a three mile grade. 
It was on this grade when he lost his air-brakes 
And see what a jump he made. 

4 
He was going down grade making ninety miles an hour 
When his whistle began to scream. 

He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle 
And was scalded to death by steam. 

5 
So come you ladies you must take warning from this time, now and on. 
Never speak harsh words to your true loving husband, 
He may leave you and never return. 

Some time prior to August, 1924, Vernon Dalhart of Mamaroneck, 
N. Y., was recording for the Edison Talking Machine Company. He 
had never heard Whitter's song, but was given a record containing it. 
He listened to the record as it was played, copied the words as he 
understood them and rendered the same to the Edison Company. 

In August, 1924, he began to work for the defendant [Victor] and 
rendered the song for it. [Here follows quotation of the Dalhart 
rendering, which is reproduced in full because it accounts for another 
North Carolina version.] 

^ Spencer is in North Carolina, a division point of the Southern Rail- 
way. — Ed. 

* This 'rendition' of the song is here reproduced in full because it is 
the original of one of the North Carolina versions. 



514 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

They gave him orders at Monroe, Virginia, 
Saying, 'Pete, you're way behind Time. 
This is not 38, but it's old 97. 
You must put her in Center on time.' 

He looked round then to his black, greasy fireman 
•Just shove on in a little more coal 
And when we cross that White Oak Mountain, 
You can watch old 97 roll.' 

It's a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville, 

And a line on a three-mile grade. 

It was on that grade that he lost his average 

And you see what a jump he made. 

He was going down grade making ninety miles an hour 
When his whistle broke into a scream. 
He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle 
And a-scalded to death with the steam. 

Now ladies you must take a warnipg 

From this time now and on. 

Never speak harsh words to your true love and husband, 

He may leave you and never return. 

After due and careful investigation to ascertain if there were any rights 
of authors to be protected, and finding none, the song was recorded on 
one side of a record for the defendant company and thereafter sold, 
mostly through the South. 

The plaintiff says that he composed and wrote this song and brought 
this suit to recover damages for the violation of his common-law rights 
in the song. The defendant denies that George wrote it. The author- 
ship of the song, therefore, is the real question in this case. 

George says that he wrote and sang it within a week or ten days after 
the wreck. He relies upon his own testimony in open court and the 
depositions of members of his family and of several other witnesses to 
prove his authorship. 

It is established beyond doubt that Noell and Lewey wrote the songs 
bearing their names. . . . 

The court's account of the relations between Noell and Lewey, 
and its quotation of Noell's song follow. Noell's song begins with 
five introductory stanzas, continues with parts of the Whitter- 
Dalhart song, interspersed with additional stanzas, and ends with 
three other stanzas not found in Whitter-Dalhart. "This song, 
written soon after the accident, was sent to The Mill Nezvs, a news- 
paper edited by a Mr. Escott and published by the Mill News Pub- 
lishing Company of Charlotte, N. C." It does not, however, appear 
in the Frank C. Brown Collection. Concerning these songs, the 
court continues : 

Robert W. Gordon, an eminent authority on the subject, made an 
exhaustive examination of all the songs written about this wreck. For 
twenty-five years he devoted himself to the study of American folk 
songs. ... He sought to determine the authorship of these songs be- 
fore any controversy about them arose and before this case was begun. 
During his investigation, he never heard of the plaintiff. But he learned 
of the authorship of Lewey, Noell, and others, and of the rendition of 
Whitter and Dalhart. 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS 515 

The following is the version of the song of the plaintiff, who says the 
defendant's record was copied from it. 

On a cold frosty morning in the month of September 

When the clouds were hanging low 

97 pulled out from the Washington station 

Like an arrow shot from a bow. 

They gave him his orders at Monroe, Va. 
Saying Peat you are a way behind time 
It's not 38 but it's old 97 
You must put her in Spencer on time. 

He looked at his black greasy fireman 

And said shovel in a little more coal 

For when we cross that White Oak Mountain 

You can see old 97 roal. 

It's a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville 

And Lima its a three mile grade 

It was on this grade that he lost his average 

And you can see what a jump he made. 

[Th]ey was going down grade making 90 miles an hour 
Who when the whistle whistle whistle broke in to a scream 
He was found in a reck with his han on the throttle 
And sca[l]ded to deth with the s . 

Now ladies you must take warning 

From this time on 

Never speak harsh words to your true loving husbands 

For they may leave you and never r . 

Did she ever pull in no she never pulled in 

For hours and hours as watching 

For the Train that never pulled [in?] 

The plaintiff's song and Dalhart's rendition of Noell's are so nearly 
alike that it is evident that one copied from the other. 

The testimony establishes with reasonable certainty the authorship of 
the songs of Noell and Lewey and the rendition of Whitter and Dalhart. 

Did Dalhart copy his song from any song composed and written bv 
the plaintiff? 

Before attempting to answer this question, the court explained 
how it arose. In response to a query about the authorship of the 
song, in the News Leader of Richmond, March i, 1927, in which 
it was indicated that the successful claimant could expect royalty 
on the sale of recordings of it, George came forward with a letter 
asserting, "I with others composed the poetry of 97." Regaining 
possession of the letter, he changed "with others" to "alone," and 
opened negotiations with the Victor Company. The company re- 
fused to pay, and suit followed. 

If the plaintiff wrote the song in question [continues the decision], he 
is entitled to damages. The question is whether or not he wrote it. 
Counsel, in an unusually able argument based upon clear and searching 
analysis of the evidence, has convinced us that the plaintiff did not write 
the song used on the defendant's record, but that he copied it largely 



5l6 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

from Dalhart's rendition of the Whitter record. This conclusion de- 
pends not so much upon the veracity of witnesses as upon documentary 
evidence. 

Into the court's analysis of this documentary evidence it is not 
necessary, for the present purpose, to go. Most of it is present in 
the songs previously quoted, centering around such points as the 
name of the engineer of Old Ninety-Seven; the adjectives used to 
describe the fireman ; the phrases describing the road from Lynch- 
burg to Danville (all the phonograph recordings — Columbia, Bruns- 
wick, Harrell, Okeh — which follow the Whitter-Dalhart, say "It's 
a mighty rough road") ; the expression "lost his average," in the 
Dalhart rendering, for "lost his air brakes," in the Whitter orig- 
inal — a mistake which George repeated and was unable to explain 
satisfactorily. 

In short, unsatisfactory testimony by George explaining errors 
in his song which agreed with Dalhart's rendition of Whitter, 
"suspicious agreement among plaintiff's witnesses as to dates and 
other facts," and the testimony of a chemist and handwriting ex- 
pert to the effect that the basic materials of George's alleged 
"original" copy of the song and his handwriting indicated copying 
of it about 1927 rather than shortly after the wreck — these were 
the grounds on which the Court of Appeals reversed the decision 
of the Circuit Court. 

Successive appeals of George to the Supreme Court of the United 
States left the case substantially where it was in the decision of 
the Circuit Court of Appeals, January 1934. See Federal Reporter 
Second Series, 105 (September-October, 1939), pp. 697-699. 

For a fairly early published version of the song, see R. W. Gor- 
don's "Old Songs That Men Have Sung," in Adventure, January 
30, 1924, p. 191. 



Without title. From a carbon typescript, undated, sent to Dr. Brown 
by W. Amos Abrams, Boone. This is very close to the Whitter rendition, 
quoted in full on p. 513. It is either directly from the Whitter "original" 
or from the recording of it (unspecified in the decision of the United 
States Court of Appeals) from which Dalhart first made an Edison 
record, then a Victor record. 

1 They gave him his orders at Monroe, Virginia, 
Saying Steve you're away behind time. 

This is not thirty-eight but it's old Ninety Seven, 
You must put her in Spencer on time. 

2 Steve Brooklyn said to his black greasy fire-man 
Just shovel in a little more coal, 

And when we cross that White Oak Mountain 
You can watch old ninety seven roll. 

3 It's a mighty rough road from Linchburg to Danville 
And a line on a three mile grade. 

It was on this grade that he lost his air-brakes 
And you see what a jump he made. 



NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS S'^7 

He was going down grade making ninety miles an hour, 
When his whistle began to scream. 

He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle, 
And was scalded to death by the steam. 

Come all you young ladies you must take warning. 
From this time now and on 
Never speak harsh words to a loving husband. 
For he may leave you and never return. 



•The Wreck of the Old Ninety-Seven (Air: The Ship That Never Re- 
turned).' From Miss Hattie McNeill, Ferguson, Wilkes county; un- 
dated. This appears to be based on the Dalhart rendition, quoted in 
full on p. 514; note the name of the engineer and the phrase "lost his 
average." It has, however, been made more colloquial, and it shows 
other signs of oral transmission. The alternative names of the destina- 
tion of the train, both in parentheses, in the fourth line of stanza i, 
suggest that the transcriber first wrote what she knew to be the correct 
one, then wrote the one she had heard. 

1 Oh they gave him his orders in Monroe, Virginia ; 
Saying 'Pete you're way behind time. 

Now this ain't the 38, but the old 97, 
You got to get her to (Spencer) on time.' 
(Center) 

2 So he turned to his black and greasy fireman, 
Yelling 'Hay — shovel on more coal ; 

'Cause when we hit the other side of the mountains 
Old 97's gonna roll.' 

3 It's a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville, 
It was on the nine mile grade. 

It was on this stretch that he lost his average ; 
You can see what a jump he made. 

4 He was goin' down the grade, doin' ninety mile an hour — 
When the whistle began to scream: 

And they found him in the wreck with his hand on the 

throttle 
All scalded to death by the steam. 

5 No[w?] ladies do take warnin' 
From this tune and now on. 

Don't speak harsh words to your kind lovin' husband, 
Or he'll leave you, and never return. 

c 

'The Wreck of No. 97.' From Miss Effie Tucker ; no address ; no date. 
A shortened and garbled version going back, perhaps, to the Whitter 
form; note "Stevenson." 



5l8 NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE 

1 He gave in his orders in old Monroe, Virginia, 
Saying Stevenson your way behind time, 
This is not thirty-eight, but is old ninety-seven. 
You must throw her in Spencer on time. 

2 He said to his black greasy fireman 
Just shovel in a little more coal. 
When we reach that white oak mountain 
You can watch old 97 roll. 

3 He was going down grade making ninety miles an hour, 
When the whistle began to blow. 

He was found in a wreck with his hand on the throttle. 
And was scalded to death by the steam. 

4 Take warning all you maidens 



And never speak a horrid word to your husband. 
He may leave you and never return. 



'Old Ninety Seven.' From Miss Pearle A. Webb, Pineola, August 1922. 
Has "frosty morning" (in the first line) and "Did she ever pull thru" 
(stanza 8) in common with the George text, but gets the name of the 
engineer right and avoids the "lost his average" error. May owe the 
first two lines of stanzas 2, 4 (with some changes), and 7 (with a few 
changes) to Noell's version (referred to but not quoted on p. 514). The 
first two stanzas also have a good deal in common with the first stanza 
and the chorus of The Train That Never Returned.' 

r I was watching on the mountain one frosty morning 
Just watching the smoke from below. 
It was truly from a long tall smokestack 
Way down on Southern Railroad. 

2 It was Old Ninety Seven, the fastest mail train 
That runs on the Southern line. 

And when she pulled into Monroe, Virginia, 
She was forty-seven minutes behind. 

3 They gave him his orders at Monroe, Virginia. 
Says Steve you're way behind. 

This is not Thirty-Eight but old Ninety-Seven 
And she's bound to be in Spencer on time. 

4 He mounted to his cabin and he said to his brave young 

fireman 
This we'll do or die. 

He reversed his engine and he pulled open the throttle. 
Says wat